First Two Portuguese Air Force AW119Kx Koalas Handed-Over

Leonardo AW119Kx Koala Mk II 29701, the first of two inducted into Força Aérea Portuguesa (FAP – Portuguese Air Force) service on February 16, flies in formation with a FAP Alouette III, the type which it is replacing. Portuguese MOD

A FORMAL ceremony was held at Beja Air Base on February 16 to induct the first two Leonardo AW119Kx Koala Mk II into Força Aérea Portuguesa (FAP – Portuguese Air Force) service.  The helicopters, 29701 (c/n 14959, ex N677SS) and 29702 (c/n 14960, ex N681SS), are the first of five ordered under a contract announced on October 18 last year, which also includes options on a further two.

They will replace the FAP’s veteran Alouette IIIs, operating in a variety of roles, including military aircrew training, medevac, troop transport, short-range maritime SAR and fire-fighting.  The new helicopters will be operated by Esquadra 552 at Beja, which currently flies the Alouette IIIs, with a SAR detachment at Ovar.