July 09, 2012
Credit: Credit: AgustaWestland
AgustaWestland will achieve two milestones during this week’s Farnborough air show: delivery of the first AW159 Lynx Wildcat to the U.K. Ministry of Defense on July 11, and the public debut of the AW169 light intermediate helicopter.
The Wildcat delivery will take place during a short ceremony to be attended by the British secretary of state for defense, Philip Hammond. British Wildcat procurement is expected to comprise 34 battlefield reconnaissance helicopters, eight light assault helicopters and 28 surface combatant maritime rotorcraft. The Wildcat also is under consideration for a Danish requirement for a shipborne helicopter, for which it is pitted against the Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk.
On July 5, AgustaWestland flew the second prototype of the AW169 light intermediate helicopter, and it is using the show to make the type’s public debut. The AW169 was first unveiled in mockup form here two years ago. The initial prototype, which conducted its first flight on May 10, will appear in the flying display at the air show, while a mockup appears in the company’s static display.
In addition to the AW169 and AW159 Lynx Wildcat, the company has examples of most of the rest of its range on display at Farnborough. Also making its debut here is the AW139M, the military version of the civil intermediate helicopter, in the guise of one of 10 HH-139As ordered for the Italian air force. The 500th AW139, which is destined to be delivered to Weststar Aviation of Malaysia, is on display, along with an RAF AW101 Merlin HC3, an AW109S Grand New and a mockup of the AW189.
AgustaWestland also is a major partner in NHIndustries, with assembly of the NH90 taking place at its facility in Vergiate in Italy. A NATO Frigate Helicopter variant for the Royal Netherlands Navy is on display within the Finmeccanica compound at Farnborough.