Agusta A129 variants


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From Volare: Ecco come nasce Tonal by Silvio Lora-Lamia

Agusta/Westland/Fokker/CASA Tonal multirole combat helicopter based on the A-129 Mangusta

4 combinations were studied

Single engined
Twin engined
Single crew
Two crew


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I thought Tonal was a UK-Italian venture with Westland-Agusta


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No the A 129 Tonal was to be the Mk2 version to be developed and built by Westland in co-operation with Fokker, CASA and Agusta.

It would have been powered by either a single RR/Turobmeca RTM322 or two RR Gem 2 Mk 1004.
Yes you are right, it was JEH (joint European Helicopter) A129 LAH Tonal. 38% share Agusta and Westland with 19% Fokker and 5% CASA.

Formed Septmber 1986 and a 2year feasibility and cost definition study began 1987. It did not get the go ahead, i do not know when that decision was made. Interesting their was also a one seat version as well.
Tonal 3 views


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1. A-129N naval combat helo

2. A-129 Utility derivative mockup (Le Bourget 1993 I think)


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pometablava said:
2. A-129 Utility derivative mockup (Le Bourget 1993 I think)

Actually, the utility version was called the A-139. The design was announced in 1985, and it was claimed that Argentina would fund it. That obviously came to nothing, but as late as two or three years ago the same design was resurrected and marketed to Australia...which bought the NH90 instead.
Derived from the A129, lost out to the AH-64 Apache in UK service.

A. 129 Tonal Agusta, Fokker, and Westland established a new joint European helicopter company in Italy in September 1986, to undertake development of the Tonal, which is named after an Aztec warrior god. CASA joined the study group before the end of 1986. Agusta and Westland each have a 38 per cent share, while Fokker takes 19 per cent and CASA 5 per cent. A two-year technical feasibility and cost study was initiated in June 1987. Based on the A. 129 airframe and systems, the Tonal will be a multirole helicopter combining the anti-tank, anti-helicopter, and armed scout roles. Options for study include the use of third generation Trigat anti-tank missiles and one RTM.332 engine in place of the twin Gems of the A.129. Tonal will be designed to meet the requirements of the partner countries and export customers. A total market for more than 400 aircraft has been identified, and production deliveries are planned to begin in 1997.


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hesham said:

the Westland LAH (Light Attack Helicopter) version from Agusta A-129,
with single seat,all details in Flightglobal;

I don't really know if a trainable missile launcher equipped helicopter was ever a viable candidate against the Apache, but a similar concept was featured in BAe SABA studies at about the same time.
UK's "Westland (WAL) Affair" shook M.Thatcher's Govt. and caused resignation of 2 Cabinet Ministers. WAL, broke, sought a White Knight in 1985; (WHL-Agusta JV) EHI had just been formed, so Minister of Defence Heseltine wanted EHI/WAL to meld into (to be Eurocopter), UK to take Tigre and maybe France/W.Germany/Neth to ditch NH90 for EH101 ("the European solution"). Aerospatiale/MBB encouraged these fantasies because alYamamah, RSa.AF had a chopper component, thus access to that difficult territory.

Agusta hoped to move Tonal into RSa.AF, so FIAT offered to buy into WHL and offered workshare on it. Sikorsky sought to sell S-70 there, so offered to buy equity and give WAL a licence, for UK/Saudi: this was "the US solution", which the owners of WAL, and Mrs.T, chose. Saudi was unimpressed and took Bo.105 (for Iraq) and S-70 direct. UK's anti-armour contest drifted; FIAT and Agusta realised WHL offered nothing but pain, sold out to GKN, who later licenced AH-64D...and ultimately sold the pain to Agusta.
Anyone remember the multi national program for the Army AIr Corps proposed attach heli, based on the AgustaWestland 129 Mangusta?

Italy, UK, Netherlands and Spain i believe were involved

One of my aerospace thermodynamics lecturers at Uni of Herts who worked for RR and Westland in the 80s had a wind tunnel scale down model of the 129 in his office and he said the project was shelved because at the time 129 was still in its infancy and the AAC weren't overly keen on the limited payload it could carry.

Does anyone have any concept pics of the proposed TONAL?
Just think - with hind sight, the US Army may have had its long drawn out, then finally cancelled LHX/Comanche after millions and millions of $ in something like the Tonal a decade ago, with change!


That proposed navalised AW-129 or A-129 is carrying the old BAe Sea Skua anti ship missile in the drawing, NOT a Marte :)
Here's another picture of what appears to be the utility version (A 139?) mock-up. Sorry, don't know the source. File named as found.

(edit) Wikipedia lists this proposed version of the A 129:

"A129 LBH: A multipurpose assault helicopter version with a structure completely different from the standard A129s, having space for carrying eight soldiers in addition to the two crew. (The abbreviation LBH stands for Light Battlefield Helicopter.)"

Given the "Battlefield Support" text on the tailboom, maybe that's what this is?


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And with chin turret. This mock-up still retains the A129 nomenclature on its cowling, but the designation A-139 was certainly mentioned at the time (separate from the later AB139).


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I can not but think of all that money and time wasted on the US Army LHX program.
I always thought the A-129 & A-129 LBH (A-139) as a perfect cost effective answer to the US Army’s need – but then again it was not American – was it!
Just think these two variants in answer to the LHX could have been in operational service a decade ago or more!!!!!

Is there a 3-view drawing and proposed spec's of the A-129 LBH ?????????

Turkish proposal of modified A-129


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Early A129 model from Paris 1977 (Flug Revue July 1977)


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Hi friends:
just trying to sum-up the matter of the A.129 (now AW129) derivatives, the Joint European Helicopter (A.129 LAH Tonal, former A.129 Mk.II) was officialy announced on September 4, 1986. Members of the consortium were: Agusta (38%), Westland (38%, itself wirh 14,9% share controlled by FIAT Aviazione and 15% by Sikorsky), Fokker (19%) and CASA (9%). Were considered single-seat and two-seat configuration and twin-engine power plant with CT7-6 (General Electric, FIAT Aviazione and Alfa Romeo) and/or RTM-322 (Rolls-Royce, Turbomeca and Piaggio).
On the basis of a joint Anglo-Italian Staff Target on June 1 1987 began a two-year feasibility and cost definition study, but I think the entire program collapsed in 1990.
At that time the international press reported the following requirement by the partner nations: Italy 90, UK 125, Netherlands 50 and Spain 40.
The Tonal (the name is after an Aztec deity) was built in mock-up form (in a simplified configuration) and the artifact should be in the Volandia museum/theme park in the area of Malpensa International Airport.
The basic A.120 Mangusta (sometime Mongoose on the international market) was built witj several "lotti" (batches) and standards.
The five prototypes are the G.05 standard (probably based on the project A.129-19)
The Batch 1 are the pre-production machines (about 15), G-07 standard
The Batch 2 is formed by 15 series production G.09
The Batch 3, for 30 helicopters is the standard Scout G.11
Later on the Mangusta were upgraded to subsequent standard by I don't know all. Surely there is a G19 standard, with Rafel Toplite targeting system.
Sometime the basic Mangusta is know also as A.129A and its military designation was EC or EC-1 (for Elicottero da Combattimento).
Third prototype A.129 G.05 MM (serial number).592 was modified as the flying testbed for the A.129/T800 version, later A.129 International; the demonstrator was A.120DE, flown in October 1988. This version has two LHTEC T800 turboshafts, five-blade main rotor, nose turret with 20-mm cannon, Hellfire and Stinger missiles and advanced avionics.
The A.129 International, since September 2007 marketed as the AW129I Mongoose, is the base for the new standard A.129CBT (or AW129CBT and also A.129C) - CBT stands for Combat - for AVES (Aviazione dell'Esercito); the Italian version lacks the new turboshafts and still relies on the two Rolls-Royce.
But there are also other proposals:
A.129ASH (Advanced Scout Helicopter), built as mock-up only was an answer to the US Army requirement.
A.129LTH, then A.129ESC (Elicottero da Supporto al Combattimento), then A.129LBH (Light Battlefield Helicopter) was the version depicted on various previous post of our friends; during summer 1988 was announced a memorandum of understanding for the co-development with Argentine FAMA. Thus version was also sometime referred as A.119 and A.139.
A.129N (for Navale) Gannet, proposal for a shipborne version with anti-ship and landing support capabilities.
A.129 HOT 2 Mangusta, proposal, built in mock-up form, armed withe Euromissile HOT 2 anti-tank missiles.
A.129R: scout version (perhaps R for Ricognizione); i don't have any further information.
T129, sometime called Erdogan, is the current answer to the Turkish ATAK requirement.
By the way, the artist author of the nice impressions with the yellow-orange background is Enzo Maio.
If someone is able to tell us the complete list of the 'G' standards of the AVES Mangusta I'll be very grateful.

G'day gents
I'm interested and looking for information on the Agusta A129 Light Battlefield Helicopter (LBH).
The A129 LBH (although I've read somewhere that it could have been designated the A139?) was a light transport/utility derivative of the A129 Mangusta devised by Agusta, which was to use a high percentage of parts compatibility - engines, rotor system, rear fuselage, landing gear etc.... It's new forward fuselage incorporated a troop compartment which could carrying eight fully equipped soldiers. Unfortunately, it only reached mock-up stage before the project was cancelled.
I would appreciate more information on the A129 LBH if anyone has it, as I'm finding it difficult to find much on it.
Also of great interest would by the designs specifications and 3-view drawings!
I've attached the only pictures of the mockup that I have been able to find.



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Just found the following info at -

The A-129 Utility of FAME / Agusta

As part of a process of opening FMA was transformed into a corporation ( FAME SA ) , being integrated into their capital by the Air Force by 46 % , Aeritalia - Agusta Techint 44% and 10% by Decree Nro.492 / 88 of April 22, 1988 .
The company brand should define a plan of possible products and industrial and commercial programs to follow. These potential products licensed production involving the ATR -42 by Aeritalia and medium helicopter model by Agusta A-129 LBH called Utility.

Agusta had initiated contacts with the Air Force one years ago, to propose the production of A-129 LBH , to that effect in late July , 1988 traveled to our country Dr. Raffaello Teti, CEO of Gruppo Agusta Spa. Agusta MoD gave the Argentine a plan for industrial development of its proposal for Argentina , within a framework agreement Italo - Argentino. This plan fundamentaba the development of a new helicopter for the Air Force and the other two forces

Unlike Aeritalia , Agusta had a solid proposal to the FAA , since it was a joint venture that broadly met the requirements of the FAA , technology transfer, involving Italian technicians and engineers in the country and manufacturing processes offering no Aeritalia . The proposal of Gruppo Agusta , was basically develop, manufacture and sell together transport helicopter and military logistical support A-129 LBH (Light Battlefield Helicopter ) Utility designed to replace the UH -1D / H serving in the Air Force .

This helicopter was based on cell A-129 Mongoose and designed to carry 12 to 14 people or an equivalent load , their category would be between 4 ton helicopters and two turbines would be equipped with T-800 . Its price would be around U $ S 4.5 or 5 millones. Con the idea of ​​producing 600 airframes in the country , of which 200 would be completed in Argentina and the rest sent to Italy to be finished there, where it would join the rotors and plans tail . The Agusta A-129 was proposed in three versions: LBH , Naval and Utility.

Tactical Transport assault ( LBH ) version that combined rotor system of A-129 Mongoose , landing gear , a machine gun in a turret in the nose and a lengthened fuselage and adapted to transport troops or medical evacuation, CSAR capability . The naval version ( Naval ) or shipped to anti - ship roles for which rode a nose radar , ESM antenna Eletronicca Spa. eave brackets , chaff dispenser, and two Mars Mk.2 missiles or Mavericks for anti - ship role or rocket pods for support missions.

Couple more.


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MANTUS said:

I don't know this version of the A.129 refer to these photos.
Apparently seems to have stealth characteristics
Can you help me?

These are pics of the mockup of the Tonal A129 derivative. Tonal mockup is at Volandia (


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Great find my dear Paul,

Specially Naval version.
Indeed, the naval version is most interesting for me, too.
Have done just a quick sketch, based on a very old drawing of the A 129.
The model seem to carry just one missile, though payload of the army version
should allow for two. Any thoughts ?


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One of the early hindrances with selling the A129 were the Gem engines; hearsay is that the engine design was very highly stressed and required a lot of maintenance. This reputation was apparently well known in the mid-1980s and was one of the killers of the WG.30.

Easrliest reference I can find to the A129 fitted with T800 engines is 1988. Here'a an LHTEC ad from 1989 ( converted from a PDF ).

My layman's opinion is that Agusta would have been better starting the A129 design with the PT6T Twin-Pac with which they were already familiar in the 212.


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Observer's 1983 claims:

A more advanced version, the A 129 D, is being offered to Federal Germany to meet the PAH-2 requirement.

Whilst seeming a little mangled ( the PAH-2 requirement dates from the 1970s and was the seed for the A.129 design ), I haven't found any details of the D-for-Deutschland variant.
Not a variant, just a snippet that explains a signature-reduction design feature

While carrying out a series of signature tests on an A. 109 to determine the Doppler radar return from a rotor, Virtuani says: "We noticed that during hover, far the
strongest return came from the control rods running between the upper swash plate and the rotor."

This led to the idea of enclosing the rotor control rods within a wide-diameter rotor shaft. The shaft would also protect the rods from ballistic damage ...
Jemiba said:
Indeed, the naval version is most interesting for me, too.
Have done just a quick sketch, based on a very old drawing of the A 129.
The model seem to carry just one missile, though payload of the army version
should allow for two. Any thoughts ?
The missile is the SISTEL Marte/Sea-Killer anti-ship missile, which weighs around 300 kg. This would be roughly equivalent to a little more than 6 Hellfires. So, if the normal load for the army helicopter is 8 Helffires, two Martes might be a bit of a load, especially if the radar also adds weight.
iverson said:
... two Martes might be a bit of a load, especially if the radar also adds weight.

Then maybe we are back at just one ASM and the other side occupied by an auxiliary tank
of lower weight ? The problem of missile fin/landing-gear strut collisions may be solved by
stub wings with a little wider span, I think.

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