AgustaWestland has completed a week of flight demonstrations for the U.S. Army as it moves forward with its Armed Aerial Scout program.
The manufacturer performed the armed aerial scout demonstrations with the AW139M as a technology demonstrator, but it plans to propose a military variant of the AW169 for the mission – based on the U.S. Army’s request for information. The AW139 and AW169 possess the same flight characteristics, power-to-weight ratios, safety features and share the same common design philosophy and maintenance concepts.
“We welcome the opportunity to have been chosen for the first Armed Aerial Scout flight demonstrations we were prepared, ready and we’re moving forward,” said R. Scott Rettig, CEO of AgustaWestland North America. “We are confident that the breadth and depth of our product portfolio and military expertise will meet the U.S. Army’s mission needs, as they assess new technologies and further define the requirements for the Armed Aerial Scout mission.”
Rettig added that he was saw “a tremendous market” for multirole rotorcraft, and was confident in the company’s ability to transform the commercial helicopter technology into a next-gen military platform.”In this manner, the Department of Defense can leverage industry’s technology investment, and take advantage of cost benefits and support that our commercial customers receive, with the increased safety and performance of these modern platforms,” he said.
AgustaWestland is on a flight test program to have the AW169 complete both FAA and EASA certification. The technology and capability of the AW139M, demonstrated for the Armed Aerial Scout program, was militarized for the USAF UH-1N modernization and replacement effort and adjacent national security missions. Most recently, the AW139M was tested and certified by the U.S. Army for safe separation of its modern survivability suite at the Army Materiel Command’s Redstone Technical Test Center in Huntsville, Ala.