FORT WORTH, Texas, April 15 (UPI) -- A latest generation armed aerial scout helicopter has been unveiled in the United States by Italian-British manufacturer AgustaWestland.
The aircraft is the AW169 AAS, which the company says meets U.S. Army mission requirements.
"The AW169 is uniquely suited to perform and safely accomplish the widest range of U.S. Army's present and future armed reconnaissance missions including aerial escort, command and control, security operations, deep operations, target acquisition and targeting, fire support coordination," it said at the Army Aviation Association of America Annual Professional Forum and Exposition in Texas.
"The AW169 AAS offers high maneuverability, power margin and demonstrates a forgiving aircraft in all flight and mission conditions."
The AW169 AAS is a twin-engine helicopter with a damage and ballistic tolerant fail safe airframe, one engine inoperative flying capability, a 30-minute "run-dry" capable transmission and a self-sealing crashworthy fuel system.
Ballistic protection and an advanced integrated self-defense suite are also included, as well as advanced avionics, communications and data management systems.
AgustaWestland said four prototypes have been undergoing development testing and that the aircraft is expected to enter the market next year.