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AgustaWestland AW109

The AgustaWestland AW109 is a lightweight, twin-engine, eight-seat multi-purpose helicopter built by the Italian manufacturer Leonardo S.p.A. (formerly AgustaWestland, merged into the new Finmeccanica since 2016).[1] The rotorcraft had the distinction of being the first all-Italian helicopter to be mass-produced.[2]

Developed as the A109 by Agusta, it originally entered service in 1976 and has since been used in various roles, including light transport, medevac, search-and-rescue, and military roles. The AW109 has been in continuous production for 40 years. The AgustaWestland AW119 is a derivative of the AW109, the main difference being that it is powered only by a single engine.


In the 1990s, the US Coast Guard, seeking to tackle drug trafficking on small speed boats via armed aerial interdiction helicopters, evaluated several options and selected the AW109 as the winner.

Eight A109E Power aircraft were used by the United States Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron Jacksonville (HITRON Jacksonville) as short-range armed interdiction helicopters from 2000 until 2008, when they were replaced with MH-65C Dolphins. Agusta designated these armed interdiction aircraft as "Mako" until the U.S. Coast Guard officially named it the MH-68A Stingray in 2003.

Positive experience with the AW109 led to the Coast Guard deciding to arm all of its helicopters and, following adaptions of their existing assets, the AW109s were returned after the lease expired.

MH-68A US Coast Guard

Phoenix Police/Fire Firebird

Royal Air Force SAR

 

InGen

"Mercy Air" Air Ambulance

Belgian A109 Air Display Team