AW-129

Technical Specifications
Name : AW-129 Mangusta
Family : Attack Helicopter
Manufacturer : Agusta up to 2000, AgustaWestland up to 2005, now Leonardo Helicopters
Nation : Italy
Production Year : 1983
Dimensions
Fusolage Length : 13.31 m
Main Rotor Diameter : 11.90 m
Height : 3.40 m
Rotor Area : 111.22 m²
Weights
Empty : 1850 kg
Maximum Take-off :  4600 kg
Engines
2 Rolls Royce GEM 1004 Turboshaft
Performances
Maximum Speed : 289 km/h
Range : 660 km (2h 50')
Armament
TOW and SPIKE Antitank Missiles, Stinger air-to-air Missiles
70 and 81 mm Rockets, 12.7 mm Machine Gun
History

The design, started in 1978, aroused a lot of impression when the first of the five prototypes made the first official flights in 1983. The fifth prototype made the first flight in March 1986. It was an evolution of the Bell AH-1 Cobra concept, which used the two-seater configuration in tandem, with pilot and co-pilot/gunner aligned and not side by side. Unlike the single-engine, two-blade Cobra, the design, derived from that of the A-109, was improved, as it was based on a configuration with two engines and four-blade rotor. Following a need by NATO, which at the time assigned to the Italian Army during the Cold War a role of containment of the armored forces of the Warsaw Pact, it was initially developed as an anti-tank helicopter and armed with BGM-71 TOW missiles, rockets from 81 mm and with the potential to integrate the Hellfire missile. From the very first version, the A-129 was equipped with autonomous navigation and night vision systems, capable of providing full night and all weather combat capability. In Europe no other nation developed a combat helicopter, all major armed forces using a large line of “multi-role” machines armed with anti-tank missiles.
In the original Mangusta version, it entered service with the Italian Army in the early nineties and had its baptism of fire in Somalia during Operation Restore Hope (1992-1994), including the launch of a missile against an Italian vehicle, stolen by the Somalis in the clash of 2 July. Still in the anti-tank version, but also armed with 12.7 mm machine guns installed in special sub-wing pods, participated in operations in Angola, Albania in 1997, in FYROM and in Afganistan (1998-2000).
Over the years it has undergone various changes: the main ones concern the adoption of a 20 mm gun with three rotating barrels type Gatling installed in a turret under the nose, the replacement of the four-blade rotor with one with five blades, the possibility of using rockets from 70 mm (in addition to the 81 mm ones), improvements to avionics and night flight/navigation systems, the integration of launchers for FIM-92 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and a new coloration with low visibility insignia. In this configuration, the helicopter can be used as anti-tank, armed reconnaissance (“Scout” according to the definition of the Italian Army), ground attack, escort, fire support and anti-aircraft. Three A-129s were deployed in Iraq prior to the withdrawal of Italian troops and are still operational in Afghanistan.
The name “Mangusta” was a commercial gimmick to suggest the ability to beat the “Cobra”, the name of both the animal and the competing helicopter at the time the A-129 was developed.
The model on display, MM 81434 EI 964, served from 6 October 2004 to 19 June 2018, located at the 7th RGT. AVES “AQUILA” at the Orio al Serio (BG) airport, participated in various exercises and operations on the national territory. It collected a total of 899 flight hours and fired 8737 rounds. It was sold by AVES to the Volandia Museum in 2019.

kids & family
Simulator area
Pic-Nic Area

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