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The AW249 Fenice is an Italian attack helicopter designed and realized by the Italian company Leonardo. It was made to replace the A129 Mangusta within the Italian army. It made its first flight in 2022, and now we have two prototypes flying, with two more to come in the upcoming years. The helicopter is planned to enter service in 2027, with a total of 48 units ordered.

Compared to the A129, the AW249 features improvments in every single department, from its weight to its armor.

The two current prototypes are:

CSX82069 (first prototype, first flight in 2022)

X82097 (second prototype, first flight in 2023)

As for now, the two prototypes have alredy tested the 20 mm cannon and the unguided rokets; soon, a campaign for test the spike ATGM will likely start.

General characteristics:

Starting with the general characteristics, the AW249 has a total weight of 8300 kg, nearly double the size of the A129, and it also has 2800 kg of useful load, more than twice the size of the A129.
In the engine department, the helicopter is fitted with two Avio Aero CT7-8E6, making the AW249 around 30 km/h faster than the Mangusta.

In the avionics department, the helicopter will be equipped with the latest generation of sensors that will make the pilots able to control drones and loitering munitions. It will also come with a new elmet that will generate a 3D view of the area under and near the helicopter, giving the pilots a better view of the near terrain with unfavorable conditions.

Moving to the defense department, the Aw249 will feature a classic automatic system for launch flares and chaff when ingaged, lws, rwr, and anti-jamming equipment, and it was also said that the Aw249 will be equipped with stealth coating to reduce its radar trace.

Lastly, in the weapons department, the AW249 is very well fitted with a very good amount of modern anti-tank missiles. It will mainly use the Spike ER2 and LR2 anty tank missiles, made by the Israeli company Rafael, but it is also possible that in the future it will be equipped with the Spike NLOS if the Italian army gets it. Unguided and guided rokets such as the Hydra 70 mm and CIRIT will also be available, as well as anti-air missiles such as the Stinger and Peraphs, the new Italian stinger replacement in the future. Initially, the Italian army wanted to reuse the alredy in service Toplite III from the A129 into the new heli, but that possibility was soon scrapped in favor of a new optic developed by Leonardo. Not much is known about this new optic, and not even the name is available. The turret remained the same OTO TM197B 20 mm rotary cannon, but in the future, it is possible that the AW249 will be fitted with the Gatling 20 (the Italian version of the TM197B from Leonardo) or the new Blaze 30 mm cannon developed also by Leonardo.

Variants:

As of now, only the anty tank version was made, the one currently ordered by the Italian army. But it is possible that, like the A129, more versions will be made in the future
Here is a list containing the possible future versions:
Naval version (version equipped with naval search radar, torpedoes, and anti-ship missiles)
Drone version (unmanned anti-tank version)
Export versions (see the paragraph on possible exports)

Export possibilities:

The AW249 is already in the eye of various nations that have shown interest in its development and could order the unit when it is ready.

The most interested nation for now is Algeria, which has been expressing its interest in the platform since 2019. It is also rumored that the Algerian army has already ordered seven units.

We have then Hungary, who showed interest in 2024.

It is also rumored that other nations such as Romania, Brazil, and Germany are interested, although we don't have confirmation of this. The only data regarding these nations we have available is from the Italian military magazine RID.



If countries such as Germany and Brazil order the helicopter, it is possible that they will be equipped with different engines and different armaments.



Many thanks to @NicholasConcu for the help!



I will leave some pictures of the prototypes and some general information about the platform.
 

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Is that me or the pod´s opening ends were edited?
If You are referring to the rokets launchers, the pods You can see in the pictures are very likely mock up's for simulate rokets pods. We haven't seen a picture of it with actual rokets yet.It is also possible that it is like You say and those are normal pod with the frontal part hidden.
 
It could be that they are data pods meant to mimic rocket pods, but also may be dummy pods that have the weight (and drag) of a regular rocket pod to test the maneuverability and flying qualities of a heavier loaded aircraft. Like Turkey, Italy appears to be moving along at a faster pace with platform testing.
 
It could be that they are data pods meant to mimic rocket pods, but also may be dummy pods that have the weight (and drag) of a regular rocket pod to test the maneuverability and flying qualities of a heavier loaded aircraft. Like Turkey, Italy appears to be moving along at a faster pace with platform testing.
Yeah probably they are Just dummy pods for emulate rokets
 
Why do some helicopters have the gun mounted so close to the nose, isn't that worse for accuracy?
 
Why do some helicopters have the gun mounted so close to the nose, isn't that worse for accuracy?
More room for electronics, or a larger ammunition drum. Most cannon on helicopter are more for suppression than accurate target destruction. Over time they will make the controlling algorithm more precise.
 
from the above link:
Just to highlight how much the Italian Army Aviation will receive an improved platform, the comparison between the AH-129D, the latest evolution of the Mangusta, and the AW249 shows +91% maximum take-off mass, +155% payload, +59% range, and +12% maximum speed, all this with a marginally increased footprint. A distinctive difference between the two aircraft is the main landing gear; in the A129 the whole landing gear was visible, while in the AW249 its elements are mostly blended inside the fuselage. This will not allow to adopt the “Spur Ride” concept to extract personnel, sitting on the main landing gear wheels. EDR On-Line understood that the AW249 will be equipped with two rescue seats that will unfold from the sides to allow extracting the crew of a downed helicopter or other personnel in danger, in a safer and more comfortable way. The new helicopter is certainly wider, width at the stub wing tips being 4.6 versus 3.55 metres, but also cockpit dimensions are greater; accessing the rear and front seats is much easier than in the Mangusta, inside space being also greater, ensuring higher comfort to the crew, the cockpit being also CBRN protected. This allows to cope with today 95 percentile; the minimum height considered for crew members is 1.55 metres, maximum one being 1.92 metres, while weight limits are between 50 and 115 kg. The cockpit is characterised by a 20-inch main touch screen.
 
The AW249 Fenice is an Italian attack helicopter designed and realized by the Italian company Leonardo. It was made to replace the A129 Mangusta within the Italian army. It made its first flight in 2022, and now we have two prototypes flying, with two more to come in the upcoming years. The helicopter is planned to enter service in 2027, with a total of 48 units ordered.
Compared to the A129, the AW249 features improvments in every single department, from its weight to its armor.

The two current prototypes are:

CSX82069 (first prototype, first flight in 2022)

X82097 (second prototype, first flight in 2023)

As for now, the two prototypes have alredy tested the 20 mm cannon and the unguided rokets; soon, a campaign for test the spike ATGM will likely start.

General characteristics:

Starting with the general characteristics, the AW249 has a total weight of 8300 kg, nearly double the size of the A129, and it also has 2800 kg of useful load, more than twice the size of the A129.
In the engine department, the helicopter is fitted with two Avio Aero CT7-8E6, making the AW249 around 30 km/h faster than the Mangusta.

In the avionics department, the helicopter will be equipped with the latest generation of sensors that will make the pilots able to control drones and loitering munitions. It will also come with a new elmet that will generate a 3D view of the area under and near the helicopter, giving the pilots a better view of the near terrain with unfavorable conditions.

Moving to the defense department, the Aw249 will feature a classic automatic system for launch flares and chaff when ingaged, lws, rwr, and anti-jamming equipment, and it was also said that the Aw249 will be equipped with stealth coating to reduce its radar trace.

Lastly, in the weapons department, the AW249 is very well fitted with a very good amount of modern anti-tank missiles. It will mainly use the Spike ER2 and LR2 anty tank missiles, made by the Israeli company Rafael, but it is also possible that in the future it will be equipped with the Spike NLOS if the Italian army gets it. Unguided and guided rokets such as the Hydra 70 mm and CIRIT will also be available, as well as anti-air missiles such as the Stinger and Peraphs, the new Italian stinger replacement in the future. Initially, the Italian army wanted to reuse the alredy in service Toplite III from the A129 into the new heli, but that possibility was soon scrapped in favor of a new optic developed by Leonardo. Not much is known about this new optic, and not even the name is available. The turret remained the same OTO TM197B 20 mm rotary cannon, but in the future, it is possible that the AW249 will be fitted with the Gatling 20 (the Italian version of the TM197B from Leonardo) or the new Blaze 30 mm cannon developed also by Leonardo.

Variants:

As of now, only the anty tank version was made, the one currently ordered by the Italian army. But it is possible that, like the A129, more versions will be made in the future
Here is a list containing the possible future versions:
Naval version (version equipped with naval search radar, torpedoes, and anti-ship missiles)
Drone version (unmanned anti-tank version)
Export versions (see the paragraph on possible exports)

Export possibilities:

The AW249 is already in the eye of various nations that have shown interest in its development and could order the unit when it is ready.

The most interested nation for now is Algeria, which has been expressing its interest in the platform since 2019. It is also rumored that the Algerian army has already ordered seven units.

We have then Hungary, who showed interest in 2024.

It is also rumored that other nations such as Romania, Brazil, and Germany are interested, although we don't have confirmation of this. The only data regarding these nations we have available is from the Italian military magazine RID.



If countries such as Germany and Brazil order the helicopter, it is possible that they will be equipped with different engines and different armaments.



Many thanks to @NicholasConcu for the help!



I will leave some pictures of the prototypes and some general information about the platform.
Greetings from Eurosatory 2024 here in Paris, I was at the presentation afternoon with the fourth prototype so here are my photos

IMG_1785.jpeg IMG_1784.jpeg IMG_1783.jpeg IMG_1786.jpeg IMG_1782.jpeg



Cheers
 
Nice shots. Thanks for sharing @RavenOne .

Do we have some clue about the purpose of that enclosed "rocket" pod (see post #4)?
Weight, drag profile for flight maneuvers. Likely has test equipment inside, although the pod next to it is likely the primary data device.

Looking at those great pictures from @RavenOne a potential concern is that the gun on the same primary structure as the forward sensors. This might cause vibratory concerns when it is being fired. Not a good time to having your sight picture jiggle about.
 
That Fenice is an appetizing bird.*

But will the Bird eat the Tiger cheese that time, Mr La Fontaine?
 
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The most interested nation for now is Algeria, which has been expressing its interest in the platform since 2019. It is also rumored that the Algerian army has already ordered seven units.
I had heard a rumour that if Algeria orders them, that they would use Mokopa instead of SPIKE, partially due to relations (or lack thereof) with Israel and partially because they already operate them on their Lynxes.

I can also see Brazil ordering them, given that they retired their Hinds recently.
 
I had heard a rumour that if Algeria orders them, that they would use Mokopa instead of SPIKE, partially due to relations (or lack thereof) with Israel and partially because they already operate them on their Lynxes.

I can also see Brazil ordering them, given that they retired their Hinds recently.
Yeah that would be the most likely outcome for Algeria. It will be cool to see the AW249 integrated with a good number of missiles.
 
Btw here some important pictures I forgot to post. Apparently at Eurosatory 2024 Leonardo showcased alongside an AW249 prototype a video of the weapons campaign. In this video we can see the AW249 being tested with the FZ231 unguided rokets and the FZ275 laser guided rokets made by Thales Belgium. An interesting note is that these rokets are not in service with the Italian army for now.
 

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Why did Leonardo modify the canopy on the AW249 from the original stepped canopy, any ideas? It looks rather strange. Was it to do with aerodynamics?
 
Thanks TomcatVIP, so it is to do with the size differences between the AW129 and the AW249 I did not know that.
 
Per @TomcatViP above - unnecessary component/structure = weight. Extra weight = extra cost.
 
I have an idea (And I now it won't happen)...but France and German should retire the Tiger and just buy 60-80 each of the Fenice off the shelf...
Well Germany Is going to retire the Tigers so there Is an export possibility with them while the French are gonna make the Tiger MK3 and honestly they would not tolerate the idea of buying a superior Italian product.
 
It is a wonder why the French are bothered about the Tiger MK3 after all the trouble of the Australian Tiger fleet. The French and Germans should have ditched the Tiger program and just bought the MAngusta and made that the European attack helicopter. It is far superior to the Tiger to begin with.
 
Btw here some important pictures I forgot to post. Apparently at Eurosatory 2024 Leonardo showcased alongside an AW249 prototype a video of the weapons campaign. In this video we can see the AW249 being tested with the FZ231 unguided rokets and the FZ275 laser guided rokets made by Thales Belgium. An interesting note is that these rokets are not in service with the Italian army for now.

More AW249 for the Italian army
So 19 machines in total, 7 upgraded and 12 new built? great news congratulations (Congratulazioni,)
 
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So 19 machines in total, 7 upgraded and 12 new built? great news congratulations (Congratulazioni,)
Yeah, I hope we will see more than 48 249 in future (also I didn't understand the part regarding the upgraded units, what they want to do, retrofit the ptototypes and the pre production units?).
 
Also here some big uptate regarding the Fenice. Apparently some times ago at Eurosatory, after the general speech, an entire presentation including very important pictures and information was showcased. We can see the first picture of the initial wooden mock up (fitted with a toplite rappresentation), the weapons selection wich confirms:

-20 mm M197 chin gun
-Spike ER2 ATGM
-Spike LR2 ARGM
-Hydra 70 mm unguided rokets
-FZ275 laser guided rokets
-Air to air missiles (unknown)
-Long range ammunition (unknow stand off weapon type)

We can also see wich UAV the Aw249 will control (small size and Big size UAV), the protection sistem and we can even how will the pilots see from theyr new elmets. Another very important part is the integration with an AI, wich will help the pilots during the flight.
Last but not least, during the speech, it was said by the chief of Leonardo helicopter division that various nations has showed interest in the platform (wich confirms again, the great export possibilities of this machine).

I'm sorry for the very resolution pictures, but I wasn't able to find anything better
 

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