Italian foreign ministry’s report to Italian Senate (Senato della Repubblica) on arms exports reveals that Leonardo sold 32 military helicopters (24 AW149 and 8 AW189) to Egypt Armed Forces, in a deal worth €871 million. The initial contract, which has not been officially announced, was first revealed by the Paris news website La Tribune, and FlightGlobal but Leonardo did not respond to several requests for comment. In April 2019, Egyptian Navy had also stated it would buy some 20 AW149 with option for 10 more.
The Leonardo AW149 is a medium-lift military helicopter developed by AgustaWestland, now Leonardo S.p.A. (formerly AgustaWestland). It derived from the AW139, the AW149 has a larger fuselage and more powerful engines, resulting in a greater cargo volume and payload carrying ability. The landing gear can sustain a touchdown with a sink speed of 9.5 m/s, compared with the 2 m/s for a civilian helicopter. The AW149 is being marketed as an alternative to the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk family. Thailand has ordered 5 AW149 helicopters, and is the first export customer.
The Leonardo AW189 is a twin-engined, medium-lift helicopter manufactured by Leonardo S.p.A. (formerly AgustaWestland). It is derived from the AW149, and shares similarities with the AW139 and AW169. The AW189 is a medium-sized twin-engined helicopter with a five-bladed fully articulated main rotor, a four-bladed tail rotor and a retractable tricycle landing gear. It is powered by two General Electric CT7-2E1 turboshaft engines. Leonardo refer to the AW189 as being a “super-medium class” helicopter, emphasizing its suitability for long-range operations.
AgustaWestland was a helicopter design and manufacturing company. In 2016, it merged into Leonardo where it became the company’s helicopters division under the Leonardo Helicopters (previously Finmeccanica) brand. Leonardo Helicopters provide rotorcraft that encompass all principal weight categories, from the 1.8 tonne single engine to the 16 tonne three engines. Organized into five business divisions, Leonardo has a significant industrial presence in Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland and the USA.