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Leonardo Unveils AW249 Next Generation Helicopter Makes International Debut

Leonardo Unveils AW249 Next Generation Helicopter Makes International Debut

The Italian Army has unveiled the new AW249 Fenice attack helicopter, declaring it a cornerstone of its transformation efforts, during its public debut at the prestigious Eurosatory defense show.

The AW249 is designed to meet the demanding needs of modern warfare, featuring a complete open architecture that allows for significant future growth and system adaptability. This flexibility ensures the helicopter can respond to evolving market requirements and remain at the forefront of military technology.

Features complete open architecture for future growth

Engineered for high performance, the AW249 boasts impressive speed, range, power margin, and payload capabilities. It excels in challenging Hot & High conditions and offers unparalleled manoeuvrability for nap-of-the-earth flight, allowing it to operate effectively in diverse and rugged terrains.

One of the helicopter’s key strengths is its ability to integrate fully and interoperate seamlessly within the modern multi-domain battlefield, encompassing air, land, sea, space, and cyber operations.

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The AW249 features an advanced large area display human-machine interface, equipped with touch screen and gesture recognition devices within its tandem-seating cockpit. This sophisticated setup is complemented by a highly advanced Leonardo-developed Battle Management System.

The helicopter’s displays and modern pilot helmets provide the crew with rapid access to critical information on flight, navigation, and mission parameters, delivered through multiple sensors and advanced connectivity systems.

In terms of armament, the AW249 is equipped with a versatile weapon system. This includes guided and unguided 70mm rockets, air-to-air infrared guided missiles, and air-to-ground radio frequency or fibre optic guided missiles. Additionally, it is armed with a formidable 20mm three-barrel Gatling gun. With a maximum take-off weight of 8.3 tons, the AW249 is set to replace the Italian Army’s aging AW129 fleet.

Production contract expected soon; deliveries from 2027.

Since its maiden flight in the summer of 2022, four prototypes of the AW249 have been constructed. Currently, two prototypes are undergoing rigorous performance, system integration, and payload testing, while the remaining two are slated to begin testing shortly.

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Leonardo anticipates finalizing the production contract soon, with deliveries to the Italian Army expected to commence in 2027.

Given its advanced capabilities and modern design, the AW249 will also be available on the export market, appealing to international customers seeking state-of-the-art military helicopter solutions.

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Aerospace

Boeing Transfers Rocket Stage to NASA, Paving Way for Human Moon Mission

Boeing Transfers Rocket Stage to NASA, Paving Way for Human Moon Mission
Image:Boeing

Boeing has achieved a significant milestone by providing NASA with the second core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

This crucial component, crafted at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF), is set to propel the Artemis II crew into lunar orbit, marking humanity’s return to deep space after a 50-year hiatus.

The monumental Boeing-built rocket stage, the largest element of the Artemis II mission, will embark on a journey aboard the Pegasus barge, traveling 900 miles to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

Comparison of two legendary aircraft B777x vs B747 aircraft:Click here

Upon arrival, it will be meticulously integrated with other essential Artemis II components, including the upper stage, solid rocket boosters, and NASA’s Orion spacecraft within the iconic Vehicle Assembly Building. This intricate integration process is a vital step toward the eagerly anticipated Artemis II launch, slated for 2025.

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Boeing-built products helped land humankind on the moon in 1969, and we’re proud to continue that legacy through the Artemis generation,” remarked Dave Dutcher, vice president and program manager for Boeing’s SLS program. “Together, with NASA and our industry partners and suppliers, we are building the world’s most capable rocket and paving the way to deep space through America’s rocket factory in New Orleans.”

NASA, Lockheed Martin Reveal X-59 Quiet Supersonic Aircraft:Click here

The delivery of Core Stage 2 marks a significant achievement in the evolution of the SLS rocket. Towering over 200 feet and powered by four RS-25 engines, this core stage, coupled with two solid-fueled booster rockets, will generate a staggering 8.8 million pounds of thrust. This immense power is crucial to launching Artemis II and future missions into the vast expanse of space.

The SLS rocket stands unparalleled in its capability to transport both crew and substantial cargo to the moon and beyond in a single launch. Its extraordinary capacity will facilitate the delivery of human-rated spacecraft, habitats, and scientific missions to destinations including the moon and Mars, ushering in a new era of space exploration.

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