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Leonardo AW249

Dedicated Twin-Seat, Twin-Engine Attack Helicopter

Leonardo AW249

Dedicated Twin-Seat, Twin-Engine Attack Helicopter

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
IMAGES
Overview



The AW249 is an in-development attack helicopter project headed by Leonardo of Italy which has partnered with PGZ of Poland.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Italy
YEAR: 2024
STATUS: In-Development
MANUFACTURER(S): Leonardo SpA - Italy / PGZ Group - Poland
PRODUCTION: 0
OPERATORS: Italy (possible); Poland (possible); Turkey (possible)
National flag of Italy
ITA
National flag of Poland
POL
National flag of Turkey
TUR
Technical Specifications



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Leonardo AW249 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 2
POWER: 2 x Turboshaft engines of unknown make, model and power output to drive a five-bladed main rotor and four-blade tail rotor.
ADVERTISEMENTS
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SPEED (MAX)

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CEILING

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RANGE

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Armament



PROPOSED:
1 x 20mm OTO-Melara TM197B rotary cannon in turreted chin position.

OPTIONAL:
Mixed ordnance loads to include guided-missiles and precision-guided/unguided rockets/pods across six total wingstub hardpoints.
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft Gatling-style rotating gun
Graphical image of aircraft aerial rockets
Graphical image of an aircraft guided bomb munition
Variants / Models



• AW249 - Base Series Designation.


History



Detailing the development and operational history of the Leonardo AW249 Dedicated Twin-Seat, Twin-Engine Attack Helicopter.  Entry last updated on 3/5/2019. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
There has been relatively little advancement in the field of the dedicated attack helicopter platform with primary, globally-operated, types in the Boeing AH-64 Apache and Mil Mi-24 Hind both being born in the Cold War period (1947-1991). Even the Russian Army, operating two attack helo types in the Mil Mi-28 Havoc and Kamov Ka-50 Black Shark series, use platforms rooted in the Cold War years when tanks were to rule the battlefields of Europe. The Italian Army operates the Agusta A129 Mangusta but even this product emerged during the 1980s. More recent efforts has resulted in the Eurocopter Tiger, introduced in 2003 but fewer than 150 being built, and the T129 ATACK from Turkey - though this is based in the Italian A129 platform. The U.S. Marines has introduced a heavily upgraded form of the classic Bell AH-1 Huey Cobra line in the "Viper" series.

As such, it is of great interest that Leonardo of Italy has announced an all-new development venture with its "AW249". The aircraft is set to follow tried-and-proven design practices for helicopters by included a twin, side-by-side engine arrangement for maximum power and survivability, a stepped cockpit configuration for pilot and gunner, and rugged, fixed tail-dragging undercarriage. Concept artwork reveals a platform set to carry a chin-mounted, trainable automatic cannon and port and starboard side wingstubs for ordnance (three hardpoints to a wing). Over the fuselage is a low-mounted, five-bladed main rotor while the tail is set to feature a starboard-side-facing four-bladed tail rotor unit to counter torque. The fuselage is depicted with smooth, angled panels.

Leonardo SpA was granted a 487 million Euro deal in January of 2017 for the development of four aircraft encompassing a single flyable prototype and three pre-production forms.

Requirements by any army service for their attack helicopter platforms has not changed - survivability is key for both crew and aircraft alike so stealth measures will be implemented into the new August product by way of reduced radar cross-section and low-signature engines.

To help drive development, the Italian Army has insisted on utilization of some in-service components such as a 20mm TM197B autocannon by OTO-Melara for the chin weapon, the Israeli SPIKE Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) family for the anti-tank measure, and the main rotor and gearbox of the Agusta AW149 medium-lift helicopter series. Beyond this, the turboshaft installations for power would be either the proven American-originated General Electric CT7-2E1 or the French Safran "Aneto" currently employed in the Leonardo AW189K model - both set to offer output power in the 2,000 horsepower range.




Other estimated specifications include a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of up to 17,640lb, a cruising speed of just over 160 miles per hour, a mission endurance window of up to three hours and an operating service ceiling reaching 20,000 feet.

Leonardo has stated that its new combat helicopter will incorporate many lessons learned in the design, development, manufacture and sustainment of its A129. Communications will be broadened to provide integration (namely command and control) for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The redesigned wingstubs will offer six hardpoints for various ordnance types over the traditional four placements seen in modern attack helicopters of this class and support both Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground weapons. Reduced pilot workload will figure into the cockpit as will an all-modern Battle Management System (BMS). The twin engine arrangement, while improving survivability, will allow for operation over land (including "Hot-and-High" environments) and water, giving the AW249 a maritime quality often inherently lacking in attack helicopter designs.

For the Italian Army, the AW249 would immediately succeed its aging fleet of A129 Mangusta helicopters and the global approach to the development of the new helicopter would no doubt reel in foreign supporters - possibly Poland and Turkey, both of whom will be seeking replacements for their own dedicated attack helicopter fleets by the late 2020s, early 2030s. In fact, Poland is an early target of the AW249 project and Leonardo has inked a collaborative partnership with Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ Group) of Poland for just that. The two concerns have been in talks since 2016 with several deals inked from that year until now. Poland has the active "Kruk" procurement program to cover acquisition of a new combat helicopter.

Italian Army A129 helicopters are expected to face retirement concerns as soon as 2026 capping what would be over 35 years of consistent, reliable operation for the service. The new challenge will be to adopt a product that could see another healthy 35 year service life - one that is easily adaptable for close-support battles as well as armed escort and anti-armor sorties. For the Poles, an advanced tank-killer is a considerable need - namely due to recent aggressions seen by Russia in Ukraine and its forceful takeover of Crimea.




Program Updates

March 2019 - The AW249 is in the running to satisfy a Japanese Defense requirement for a New Attack Helicopter (NAH).
Media





General Assessment
Firepower  
Performance  
Survivability  
Versatility  
Impact  


Values are derrived from a variety of categories related to the design, overall function, and historical influence of this aircraft in aviation history.
MF Power Rating
34
The MF Power Rating takes into account over 60 individual factors related to this aircraft entry. The rating is out of 100 total possible points.
Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (174mph).

Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
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Graph showcases the Leonardo AW249's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (0)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
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0

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.


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