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Air Platforms

Portugal orders Koala helos

18 October 2018
An artist’s impression of an AgustaWestland AW119K helicopter in Portuguese colours. Source: Leonardo

The Portuguese Air Force (Força Aérea Portuguesa: FAP) has ordered five AgustaWestland AW119Kx Koala light utility helicopters for a range of support operations.

The deal, announced by Leonardo on 18 October, is valued at approximately EUR20 million (USD23 million) and includes options for an additional two helicopters. Production will take place at Leonardo's Philadelphia facility in the United States, with deliveries of the five contracted airframes to run from later this year through to 2020.

Portugal's Ministry of National Defence (MND) has chosen the single-engined AW119Kx to replace the air force's ageing Aerospatiale Alouette III helicopters that have been in service since 1963. In securing the contract, Leonardo beat Airbus Helicopters, which had offered its H125.

Once operational, the AW119Kx helicopters will be used for roles such as training, medical evacuation, troop transport, and short-range maritime search and rescue. They may also be used for firefighting.

The AW119Kx is the latest variant of the type that is equipped with a Garmin G1000HTM integrated flight deck system, which features a synthetic vision system, moving map display, and the Helicopter Terrain Avoidance Warning System (HTAWS).

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