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The Italian government has revealed a hitherto-unconfirmed Leonardo military helicopter sale to Egypt. According to the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Leonardo has sold 24 AW149 and eight AW189 helicopters to the Egyptian military for approximately EUR871 million (USD957 million). The sales were recorded in the ministry’s 2019 arms exports report to the Italian Senate of the Republic.
Leonardo has not commented on the report nor the sales contained within it.
The documents do not disclose any further information pertaining to production or delivery timelines, aircraft roles, or which branch of the Egyptian military will field them.
The AW149 is designed for a multitude of missions such as Troop Transport, Re-supply/External Load Lift, Medical and Casualty Evacuation, SAR and Personnel Recovery, Special Forces Operations, Close Air Support/Armed Escort, Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.
The advanced open-architecture avionics enables quick and effective integration of mission and customer required equipment as well as weapon and defense systems. The helicopter is Day/Night capable with a single pilot Night Vision Goggle (NVG) compatible low workload glass cockpit, according to the company’s website.
The AW189 represents the benchmark for luxury transportation, featuring the most stylish interior design layouts where comfort, style and attention to details are essential attributes. Class-leading speed and low internal vibration and noise provide passenger comfort.
The Italian government report noted that the AW149s would be configured with eight seats (it can normally carry up to 18 passengers), while the similarly-sized AW189s will be configured with the maximum 19 seats. These configurations suggest that the AW149s will perform a specialist military task that requires the fitting of bespoke mission equipment, while the AW189s will be used for general passenger transport, according to janes.com.