Leonardo celebrates 10th anniversary of AW159 Wildcat’s first flight

Ten years ago on Nov. 12, the AW159 Wildcat lifted off for the first time from Yeovil, England, and took to the skies. Over the last decade, the helicopter has celebrated global success and is in current operation with the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD) and other international users.

Over 50,000 flight hours have been logged by the AW159 Wildcat in the last decade. Today, the helicopter routinely operates in challenging environments over land and sea. Leonardo Photo
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To date more than 70 AW159s in a variety of roles have been delivered to battlefield and maritime military operators around the world. Today, the helicopter routinely operates in challenging environments and climatic conditions over land and sea.

Over 50,000 flight hours have been logged by the helicopter. The AW159 has been chosen by the British Army and Royal Navy, the Republic of Korea Navy as a replacement for its Lynx helicopters and the Philippine Navy as a new maritime operator of the helicopter. The first international AW159 deliveries took place in 2016 to the Republic of Korea Navy.

The twin-engine multi-role helicopter is able to conduct missions ranging from constabulary to high end warfighting where it has the capability to autonomously detect, identify and attack targets on land and at sea. The high-performance platform has state-of-the-art systems, including a Leonardo Seaspray multi-mode electronically-scanning (E-scan) radar, and integrated Defensive Aids Suite.

Pictured is the Wildcat during its maiden flight on Nov. 12, 2009. Leonardo Photo

The technologically advanced aircraft has a fully integrated and comprehensive suite of mission systems operated through a tactical processor that facilitates rapid tactical assessment in any theater, day or night. With a military derived HMI designed to reduce aircrew workload and increase cockpit capacity the helicopter delivers excellent situational awareness and mission effectiveness.

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