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Leonardo contracted to develop Italian Army A129 combat helicopter's successor

World Aviation Defense & Security Industry News - Leonardo
Leonardo contracted to develop Italian Army A129 combat helicopter's successor
Leonardo-Finmeccanica on Friday announced it reached an agreement with the Italian Ministry of Defence for the development and the production of the New Exploration and Escort helicopter (NEES). The NEES platform will replace the A129 combat helicopter actually in service with the Italian Army.
Leonardo contracted to develop Italian Army A129 combat helicopter s successo 640 001An Italian Army A129 Mangusta combat helicopter
(Credit: Esercito Italiano)
The multiyear contract for the new exploration and escort helicopter (NEES) of the Italian Army envisages the study, development, industrialization, production and testing of a prototype and three initial production aircraft.

Through this new programme, based on a total requirement for 48 units, the Italian Army will be able to replace the current fleet of A129 which are expected to be retired from service by 2025 following over 35 years in operations.

The NEES programme will benefit from the long operational expertise gained by the Italian Army thanks to the A129 and from the know-how of Leonardo in this specific helicopter sector. It will allow the service to introduce an even more technologically advanced product, with greater performance and lower operating costs, to meet arising needs in evolving scenarios for the next 30 years.

The Italian Army ordered a total of 60 A129 Mangusta combat helicopters, deliveries of the type began in 1990. They have been deployed in Iraq, Somalia, Angola, Republic of Macedonia and Afghanistan.