Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The Portuguese Ministry of Defense plans to replenish its aging fleet of aircraft with five new AW119KX helicopters.
Leonardo announced Thursday was it awarded a $23 million contract to provide the five new AW119Kx multirole helicopters, with an option for two more units.
The company says the AW119Kx helicopters will support a variety of missions, including training, MEDEVAC, troop transport and short range maritime search and rescue,or SAR, along with firefighting.
Portugal expects to take its first delivery of AW119Kx helicopters in late 2018, with deliveries set to be complete in early 2020. Leonardo produces the helicopters in Pennsylvania.
The single-engine helicopter features advanced avionics and what Leonardo calls the largest cabin its class, making it fit for a variety of operations.
Leonardo called the deal the latest in a "long standing partnership" with the government of Portugal.
In the past, the contractor has supplied the Portuguese air force with AW101s for long range SAR, utility, personnel recovery and fishery protection missions, as well as with Super Lynx aircraft -- including a Mid Life Upgrade -- to the Portuguese navy for maritime missions.
To date, Leonardo has taken orders for nearly 320 AW119 helicopters for about 130 customers in 40 countries.