No announcement yet.

Agusta Westland AB139 for Irish Air Corps

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #46
    FMolloy I'm sure you're the man to realise that this is in danger of veering off topic, after all the topic's not about what "I think". Although since you asked; I would have assumed that a the military variant of the AB-139 wouldve had some level of armour (i.e. Kevlar) installed to protect the pilot/troops and the aircrafts vital systems from small arms fire, something which I dont believe is on your average civilan helicopter, but I could be wrong.

    A quote from :
    Moreover, added Bartolotta, the military potential of the AB139 can be realized without costly additional design. “The requirements [civil and military] have merged. Today, we can achieve 90 percent of military specs without any changes. The JAR/FAR 29 civilian certification already demands self-sealing, crashworthy fuel tanks; the composite blades have inherently high ballistic tolerance; and the large sliding doors help meet the troop egress requirements,” he noted, reflecting on both European and U.S. standards.
    Taken from the horses mouth as it were, that says to me that there is a difference between a civilian and military helicopter. Although whether crash proof seats + door mounted guns = that missing 10% I dont know.

    I raised the question because it appears there is a military variant of the AB-139 available - and I pictured it above, the version in question can take missiles and anti-aircraft weapons - something I've yet to see on a civilan helicopter. It also looked visually different - with extra sensors placed on the front.

    The Namibian helicopter is for VIP transport rather than troop transport, i.e. it is not the military version I am referring to or pictured earlier, therefore if we were in fact getting the military version we would be that types "launch customer". The same is true of the Dauphin - it was in civilian use before we purchased it.

    I simply wanted to know whether this was the one we were getting, I got the answer, and now you're now asking me what I think a military helicopter is for some reason.
    Last edited by pym; 23 May 2005, 10:03.


    • #47
      Before FMolloy has an aneurysm, I'll try and explain this simply.

      For the most part, the difference between a military and civilian helicopter in this case is merely one of specification. There is no specific military variant of the AB-139, the mock up that's been posted was one created for an expo about 5 years ago, before the helicopter had ever even flown, to drum up potential military customers. It doesn't exist as an identifiable or distinct model.

      The tender document specified an aircraft with a military fit, seating, comms, etc. This is what makes it, essentially, a military helicopter. Its not like some robed priest waves a wand over the thing as it rolls off the production line, and says "Kazaam, you are now a military helicopter". It is a matter of spec, fit, and useage. Some aircraft are designed and built for military use, others have militari'ness' conferred upon them by dint of fit. The Air Corps AB-139s fall into the second category.

      For example, the version in question can take missiles and anti-aircraft weapons - something I've yet to see on a civilan helicopter. ... because that would be illegal. But its not exactly complicated to turn the 'civilian' helicopter into a 'military' helicopter, with a few minor spec changes. The hardpoints for mounting are on the airframe anyways, it has a databus onboard. The only complicated thing would be picking out a paint colour to make it look 'military'.

      The important element of the quote you took from 'the horses mouth' is The requirements [civil and military] have merged. In other words, because of increased safety requirements for civilian helis (JAR/FAR-29), it is increasingly easy for manufacturers to market their helicopters to military customers with little or no modification.


      • #48
        Aidan, thanks for the post, but you really didnt need to be so condescending. I'm sure that will get me a witty response, or twenty.

        As I stated previously, I asked a simple question, I just wanted to know whether we were getting a specific version. It has been cleared up.
        Last edited by pym; 23 May 2005, 11:11.


        • #49
          you really didnt need to be so condescending

          Of course I did, its my main function around here.


          • #50
            Interesting development in the AB139 story,if you visit you will see the production list.
            In the second column,third and fourth aircraft on order have an EI... prefix,though the customer is not listed,and the remarks are "Corporate". Further down the list are the 4 aircraft on order for the air corps,with EMS/SAR/Multirole being given as their role.

            Could the first two aircraft be interim aircraft,leased from AGUSTA/Bell and placed on the Irish Civil register? Or has one of our wealthy residents decided to purchace? JP Mc Manus is pretty fond of his Bell (414 I think). I know there was no mention of interim aircraft when the Contract was signed...

            Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


            • #51
              AB 139:

              12 utility seats (in 3 rows of 4)

              10 troops seats (similar to MOWAG seats) back-to-back, with room for CEFO and patrol pack at troops feet, provision for 2 gunners/loadmasters with GPMG(SF) just behind pilots seats. 3.4m storage space for CEMO etc.

              Capable of lifting 105mm artillery piece (under-slung) while carrying crew & ammunition in cabin

              Roles: military transport, casevac, air ambulance, VIP/utility transport

              To be delivered: 2006/7 (2 options still open)


              • #52
                Dev, the AB139 spec above, is this official, I thought the tender stated 8 + 2 + 2, or does the 10 include 2 gunners/loadmasters (though the spec above appears to read otherwise)?



                • #53
                  ^ yeah, I was under the impression that it was 8 troops + 2 gunners + pilots.
                  Education isn't everything, for a start it isn't an elephant


                  • #54
                    I'm getting this from An Cosantoir, but presume that 2 of the troop seats are for the loadmasters/gunners


                    • #55
                      With crash-proof seating it will carry 8 troops & 2 door gunners.
                      "The dolphins were monkeys that didn't like the land, walked back to the water, went back from the sand."


                      • #56
                        Ref the AB assembly line, I was there in 2001 getting background for an article. They were putting together AB-412's and Merlins then. Only saw the 139 prototype on the ramp and the TTH mock-up. An excellent facility with very high standards of workmanship. 139 technology is certainly first rate, resulting in superb performance - excellent return for expenditure. Should do the IAC proud. Air Corps pilots should be chomping at the bit to get into this machine and the considerably more complex mission sets that will come with it - NVG ops, SF insertion & recovery, air assaults, sling loading, FLIR aerial surveillance, deck ops on the new NS Support Ship, etc. Lucky bastards!


                        • #57
                          Perhaps we should look for 12 139's and 4 135s as being the eventual rotary wing contingent?


                          • #58
                            12 + 4 would be great, but is probably not supportable in terms of financing and personnel to man and maintain.


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Old Redeye
                              12 + 4 would be great, but is probably not supportable in terms of financing and personnel to man and maintain.
                              Even if all other rotary airframes are retired.

                              12 + 4, 8 Pilatus plus the rest will surely free up man hours, training cycles etc. by not having such a disparate fleet. Perhaps that will help out?


                              • #60
                                New ab139 M.U,H

                                Ok we have had the light utility heli thread ,now heres the medium utility heli thread.
                                Just to get the ball rolling does anybody know when the first of the ab139s are due to be delivered ?
                                And who do ye think will be the first to get pictures???
                                "Let us be clear about three facts. First, all battles and all wars are won in the end by the infantryman. Secondly, the infantryman always bears the brunt. His casualties are heavier, he suffers greater extremes of discomfort and fatigue than the other arms. Thirdly, the art of the infantryman is less stereotyped and far harder to acquire in modern war than that of any other arm." ------- Field Marshall Wavell, April 1945.