The first of 20 Leonardo AW119Kx helicopters ordered by the Italian Carabinieri has started flying.
The fist RH119A (as this variant of the AW119Kx has been designated), destined to the Arma dei Carabinieri, the national gendarmerie of Italy, was photographed during a recent test flight from Leonardo’s plant in Vergiate, by our contributor Oscar Bernardi.
The aircraft, s/n15501, carries experimental registration CSX 82103: it is the first Koala built for the military police, following an order for 20 AW119Kx helicopter announced in October 2022.
Along with the UH-169C that are currently being delivered, the RH119As will replace the current rotary-wing fleet of AW109N and AB412 helicopters.
All the helicopters will be assembled at the Vergiate plant with deliveries expected between 2023 and 2026. The contract signed last year also includes a complete package of turnkey technical logistical support and training services for pilots and maintenance technicians.
Here are some details about the Koala, from Leonardo’s website:
The AW119Kx are equipped with digital technologies that allow an increase in operational effectiveness and lower management costs and can be used at existing infrastructures across the country including 18 bases.
The peculiar characteristics of the AW119Kx and the related certification standards and military qualifications will allow the operator to carry out missions even in urban contexts in an effective and safe way thanks to the characteristics of systemic redundancy, power margin, great external visibility, sophisticated digital navigation avionics and mission. The latter is based on the Garmin G1000H cockpit equipped with large color displays, synthetic vision of the external environment, ground proximity system, flight information on the map in real time (moving map) controlled by GPS. This helicopter model has a large cabin and a large baggage compartment, as well as a high distance of the main rotor from the ground to guarantee greater safety for people on the ground during the mission. The equipment provided for the AW119Kx of the Carabinieri includes a high definition (HD) electroptic system, barycentric hook, data-link mission-transmission console, hyperspectral system for environmental monitoring and control, radio communications, cable cutters, fire-fighting bucket, searchlight of research. There is also provision for the installation of floats and lifeboats, and snow kits.
Equipped with great versatility, the AW119 features avionics that allow it to operate both according to visual and instrument flight rules. This enables greater crew operational context awareness, mission effectiveness and safety, providing operators with multiple options to meet their specific requirements. This helicopter model offers unparalleled performance with high power margins and the largest cabin in its category, capable of accommodating up to six passengers depending on the configuration. Over 490 AW119s have been sold to date.