According to unconfirmed press reports in Africa and Europe, Egypt may have become the sought-after launch customer for the Leonardo AW149.

After competing in Turkey and Poland as well as being aggressively marketed elsewhere, the AW149 has languished somewhat since the initial development programme was completed. However, if Egypt’s intent turns out to be fact and the number of 20 rotorcraft accurate, Leonardo will at last have the green light to start production for this heavier variant of its highly successful AW139 design.

Capable of achieving longer ranges and endurance with a heavier payload, the AW149 will reportedly be used by Egypt for amphibious assault, anti-submarine warfare and utility applications. Since the country was originally looking at a quantity of 30 NH90 for these roles, it is considered likely by some observers that the number of AW149s required may well increase over time.

Leonardo’s AW149 heavyweight military helicopter may finally have found its launch customer. (Photo: Leonardo)

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