AW159 Wildcat Displayed at World Defence Show

AW159 Wildcat in flight for FASGW firing trials

An AW159 Wildcat helicopter was showcased at the World Defence Show 2024’s static display in Riyadh ,Saudi Arabia. The type is being actively promoted for several requirements globally, with three units sold to an export customer in 2023, adding to the existing global fleet of operators in UK, the Republic of Korea and the Philippines. The British Army and the UK’s Royal Navy have procured 34 and 28 Wildcats respectively. The ROK Navy has fielded 8 AW159s for the MOH batch 1 programme and the Philippine Navy has introduced two Wildcats to their fleet. There are multiple opportunities around the globe, including the Middle East to Asia-Pacific, for the AW159.

Leonardo’s AW159 was designed from the outset to be multi-purpose and maritime through its modular equipment, which enhances its true multi-role capability. With its outstanding affordability, modern design and versatility, the platform is available for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) roles around the world. The AW159 can conduct Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR), Maritime Interdiction, ASW, ASuW, and Search and Rescue (SAR) operations.

The network-enabled helicopter includes the latest communications, navigation systems and sensors with a wide range of Air to Surface and Sub-Surface weapons. The Tactical Processor and Human Machine Interface are designed to give the aircrew the winning edge in the modern battlespace. The compact AW159 is a fully marinised aircraft, optimised for operations from limited space on vessels in high sea states. Leonardo continues to invest in the AW159, expanding the aircraft’s capabilities.

AW159 Wildcat capabilities are also continuing to improve and evolve as technology becomes available and customers’ develop their operations; Crewed Uncrewed Teaming and Performance Based Navigation as such examples. As many operators look to modernise and upgrade their current fleets, Leonardo working closely in a partnership continues to support and improve in-service fleets with an understanding of individual customer’s operational requirements and budgets to deliver cost effective solutions to meet their mission requirements and demands. The crewed-uncrewed combination not only allows for greater Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) capability from the air, but also allows an operational commander to combine the delivery of persistent surveillance from an uncrewed system with a high availability, high readiness AW159, which is able to react immediately from ship-borne alerts states.

It is designed to operate safely from the smallest ships decks – thanks to its compact footprint – in the harshest environment of poor weather and high sea states, whilst delivering high availability for immediate mission prosecution. For naval operations, this enhancement further capitalises on the AW159’s excellent ship borne characteristics with a Deck Lock (‘Harpoon’) system and negative thrust to enable maximum safety during deck operations in sea conditions up to Sea State 6.

In addition to dealing with multiple surface threats, the AW159 has also demonstrated its ability to engage air targets during firing trials.

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