The Portuguese Ministry of Defence (MoD) has selected the AW119Kx as its new multirole single engine helicopter to meet future operational requirements. The Portuguese Air Force is set to take delivery of five aircraft, with an option for a further two units, with deliveries to start in late 2018 and be completed by early 2020. The contract is valued at in excess of €20 million and the aircraft will be used to perform a wide range of roles, including training, MEDEVAC, troop transport and short-range maritime search and rescue (SAR): they may also be used for firefighting.

The AW119Kx was selected following a thorough and rigorous assessment of competing models, demonstrating that Leonardo’s solution was best suited to meet the stringent requirements. This selection marks a further reinforcement of the long-standing partnership between Leonardo and Portugal in the helicopter sector, following the supply to the Air Force of AW101s for the long-range SAR, utility, personnel recovery and fishery protection missions and of SUPER LYNX aircraft (including a mid-life upgrade) to the Portuguese Navy for maritime duties. The AW119Kx will provide greater versatility and performance compared to the current Air Force fleet of ageing single engine helicopters, as well as an outstanding training capability for military crews before moving to the AW101, SUPER LYNX and other frontline types.

The AW119Kx features an advanced avionics system for improved situational awareness, mission effectiveness and safety. It has the largest cabin in its category, able to accommodate up to six passengers, and incorporates redundancy of all critical systems, typically available on multi-engine aircraft, ensuring outstanding safety and reliability. Almost 320 AW119 helicopters have been ordered to date by nearly 130 customers in 40 countries. The new AW119Kx is well suited to many roles, including government/military missions, utility, emergency medical services, firefighting, law enforcement, training, VIP/corporate transport and offshore transport.

Portugal will receive five AW119Kx and has options for two further aircraft. (Photo: Leonardo)

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