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Leonardo AW189

Medium-Lift Multirole Helicopter

Aviation / Aerospace

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Image courtesy of AgustaWestland marketing material; All Rights Reserved.

The AgustaWestland AW189 medium-lift helicopter has found several takers on the global market.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 9/10/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
Sensing the growing market need for an all-modern, cost-effective medium-lift helicopter to serve in the offshore drilling service, the Italian concern of AgustaWestland is developing its impressive AW189 model. Based on the military AW149 product, the AW189 is intended for civil airspace as a passenger transport though it can be outfitted with optional equipment to suit various mission roles - indeed, AgustaWestland is marketing the AW189 series as a multirole type. With its crew of two, the aircraft can haul up to eighteen passengers some 230 miles at speeds exceeding 170 miles per hour. First flight of a prototype occurred on December 21st, 2011 and the product remains in development as of March 2014. The AW189 is already on order with seven countries including India, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The AW189 is powered by 2 x General Electric CT7-2E1 turboshaft engines developing 2,000 horsepower each. The fuselage sports a length of 57.8 feet with a rotor diameter measuring 48 feet and a height of 16.6 feet. Gross weight is listed at 18,300lbs. Its specifications place it as a bridge product between the intermediate-lift AW139 and medium-heavy-lift AW101 models in the AgustaWestland helicopter lineup.

The general appearance of the vehicle is a sleek one, incorporating a shallow nose cone ahead of a glazed cockpit. Vision is generally good out of both cockpit positions and sliding rectangular doors offer access to the passenger cabin. The cockpit and passenger cabin are separated by a solid wall for privacy and passenger comfort is expanded through use of cushioned seating, an in-flight entertainment system and air conditioning. The engines are mounted above the passenger cabin in the usual way and drive a five-bladed main rotor atop a short mast as well as a four-bladed tail rotor facing starboard. The undercarriage is retractable and consists of a traditional three-legged, wheeled arrangement.

The AW189 cockpit brings about use of FLIR (Foward-Looking Infra-Red), Night Vision Goggle (NVG) support, SATellite COMmunications (SATCOM), HF/V/UHF radio, AIS naval transponder, four-axis autopilot, a Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) solution and flight data recorders. There are four large, full-color Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) providing an all-glass approach (fitted in pairs ahead of both cockpit positions). Weather and search radars are also integrated into the design as is a Moving Map Display (MMD).

AgustaWestland is targeting the AW189 to offshore drilling companies where access to platforms requires use of a capable, reliable rotary-wing system. Range is, therefore, an important inherent quality of such a product and auxiliary fuel tanks are optional, added to the fuselage of the AW189 to help increase range. Additionally, the powerplant and airframe were designed with the rigors of over-water service in mind as well as the harsh environments to be encountered that come with such operating territory. For emergencies, the AW189 features an emergency flotation system (forced water landings) and an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) for added piece of mind.

Beyond its offshore potential, the AW189 can also serve law enforcement and coast guard entities due to its inherent qualities. Available equipment includes life rafts, search lights, cargo hooks and fast-roping kits to suit the mission need. Its cabin can also be converted to serve as a MEDEVAC platform for litters and associated staff.

February 2018 - The AW189K production model is expected to enter service in the Forth Quarter of 2018.

June 2020 - A version of the AW189, powered by Safran "Aneto" 1K engines, has achieved European certification (EASA) on June 8th, 2020.


Active, Limited Service
75 Units
Leonardo-Finmeccanica (AgustaWestland) - Netherlands / Italy
National flag of Azerbaijan National flag of Denmark National flag of Egypt National flag of India National flag of Japan National flag of Malaysia National flag of Qatar National flag of Russia National flag of South Korea National flag of United Arab Emirates National flag of United Kingdom National flag of United States Azerbaijan; Denmark; Egypt; India; Japan; Malaysia; Qatar; Russia; South Korea; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; United States
- Transport
- Commercial Market
- VIP Transport
- Search and Rescue (SAR)
57.74 ft (17.6 m)
47.90 ft (14.6 m)
16.40 ft (5 m)
2 x General Electric CT7-2E1 turboshaft engines developing 2,000 horsepower each driving a five-bladed main rotor and four-bladed tail rotor.
Max Speed:
174 mph (280 kph; 151 kts)
Max Range:
230 miles (370 km; 200 nm)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Leonardo AW189 production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Leonardo AW189 production model)
AW189 - Base Series Designation.
AW189K - Modernized variant.
AW149 - Military variant.
Cockpit image of the Leonardo AW189
(Cockpit image represents the AgustaWestland AW189 production model)
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