Friday, 9 November 2012

A-129 Mangusta (Light Anti-tank helicopter)


 Agusta A-129 Mangusta (Mongoose) began the project in 1978. A-129 is a light anti-tank and multi-role military helicopter and was the first attack helicopter to be designed and produced wholly in Europe. Mangusta is manufactured in Italy by the Agusta Aircraft Company .The A-129 Mangusta made its first flight on September 1983. The aircraft can operate during day, night, and all-weather conditions. The A-129 has four blade main rotor system with the fibreglass blades and are designed to withstand 12.7 mm ammunition. The airframe is built from composite material up to 70% which is resistant to 12.7 mm ammunition and meet the crashworthiness standards. The two crew are seated in a tandem cockpit , with the pilot sitting in the raised rear seat and the weapons system officer in the forward station. The small frontal area to minimize visual and radar detection. The tailboom taper to the rear, with a high, swept-back fin with square tip. The tail rotor is mounted on the left side and this aircraft has a rear landing wheel. The powerplant is two RollsRoyce Gem2 turbine which licence to built by Piaggio of Italy. A-129 has four stub-wing attachment points for carrying the load of weapons. Now, only Italy has this helicopter in its inventory. .

The AW129 multirole combat helicopter is the latest variant of the A129 Mangusta (Mongoose) helicopter in service with the Italian Army.The A129 International was renamed AW129 in 2007.The Italian Army is equipped with 60 A129 Mangusta helicopters and 15 AW129, referred to as A129 CBT (combat configuration).

AW129 helicopter design

The structure of the helicopter is a semi-monocoque design with an aluminium alloy frame. Composite materials make up almost 50% of the fuselage weight.
The airframe provides ballistic protection against 12.7mm armour-piercing rounds. The engines are armour protected. The main rotor has ballistic tolerance against 12.7mm rounds.


The pilot and gunner cockpits are in a stepped tandem configuration. Both cockpits are equipped with multifunction displays, which present information from the integrated management system and provide a synthetic waypoint map, navigation data, weapon status, weapon selection, communications and aircraft / flight data. The displays are equipped with multifunction keyboards.
The helicopter is equipped with an automatic flight control system, which provides nap-of-the-earth flight capability and the level of stability for precise weapon aiming.
A tactical navigation display enhances mission management and situational awareness.
Agusta A-129 Mangusta,
Pilot panel

Observation and targeting

The helicopter's infrared night-vision system (HIRNS) includes a mini forward-looking infrared (FLIR), supplied by Honeywell, mounted on a steerable platform at the nose of the helicopter.
The pilot's integrated helmet and display sighting system (IHADS), by Honeywell, positions a monocle over one eye and displays the view presented by the FLIR. The system provides automatic weapon aiming, which can be used by day or night.
A mast-mounted sight can be installed, giving the helicopter the capability to aim and fire weapons from cover. The sight is used for target acquisition, missile tracking, laser target designation, laser tracking and laser rangefinding.


The Aw129 helicopter has a fireproof engine compartment with two low-noise LHTEC-T800 turboshaft engines. The engines are separated, and there are two separate fuel systems with cross-feed capability.
The crash-resistant tanks are self-sealing and fitted with self-sealing lines and a digital fuel feed controller. The thermal signature is minimised by the installation of an infrared exhaust suppression system.

light anti-tank and multi-role military helicopter
Max Speed
179 kt / 196 mph
Max Range
main rotor diam. 11.90 m /
39 ft 0.5 in
length 14.29 m / 46 ft 10.6 in
height 3.315 m / 10ft 10.5 in
empty 2520 kg / 5,575 lb
max. take-off 4100 kg / 9,038 lb
two 608-kW (815-shp) Piaggio (Rolls-Royce) Gem 2 Mk 1004D turboshafts each with an emergency rating of
772 kW (1,035 shp)
provision for 1200 kg (2,646 lb) of stores carried on four hardpoints, and generally comprising eight TOW anti-tank missiles and two machine-gun or rocket-launcher pods

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