The Portuguese Air Force (FAP) took delivery of the first two AW119Kx Koala multirole single engine helicopters from Leonardo during an official ceremony held at the Beja Air Base on Feb. 18.
The ceremony was presided over by João Gomes Cravinho, the country’s Minister of National Defence.
The Portuguese Ministry of Defence (MoD) has selected the AW119Kx as its new multirole single engine helicopter to meet its future operational requirements. The order, which was placed last year, was for five aircraft with an option for additional two units.
Portugal’s AW119Kx helicopters will be used to perform a wide range of roles including training, Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC), troop transport and short-range maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) and may be used for firefighting. The AW119Kx will provide greater versatility and performance compared to the current fleet of ageing single engine rotary wing aircraft, as well as an outstanding training capability for military crews before moving to the AW101, SuperLynx and other front-line types.
The AW119Kx is a best in class single engine helicopter featuring an advanced avionics system for enhanced situational awareness, mission effectiveness and safety. The AW119Kx is provided with the largest cabin in its category, able to accommodate up to six passengers, and 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.