LEONARDO HELICOPTERS announced yesterday, January 28, that it has shipped the first of five AW119Kx helicopters to Portugal for entry into Força Aérea Portuguesa (FAP – Portuguese Air Force) service. The helicopter was airfreighted out of the USA after being manufactured at the company’s production facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Leonardo had announced an order valued at more than 20 million euros for these five single engine multirole helicopters, with an option for a further two, on October 18 last year. At the time, it was stated that deliveries would begin in late 2018, with completion by early 2020.
The AW119Kx helicopters will be used to perform a wide range of roles for the FAP, including training, medical evacuation, troop transport and short-range maritime search and rescue (SAR), while they may also be used for firefighting. They will replace ageing Alouette IIIs, providing greater versatility and performance, while also providing improved training for crews before they move on to fly the AW101.