Leonardo- Finmeccanica pushing hard to be new Navy trainer with TH-119 variant of AW119Kx
Leonardo-Finmeccanica today announced a new variant of the AW119 single engine helicopter. Designated as the TH-119 during the Navy League Sea-Air Space Exhibition in Washington D.C. The aircraft is specifically designed for military training customers, primarily the U.S. Navy. The new version features distinctive capabilities, differentiating it from the AW119Kx commercial variant. Like the commercial AW119Kx, the TH-119 will be built at the company’s Philadelphia facility.
Leonardo-Finmeccanica has been a front runner for the Navy’s new trainer. Aiming to replace the aging fleet of TH-57 helicopters. The navy variant of the Bell 206 airframe has been operating almost 40 years. The Navy has been slow to choose a predecessor to replace the aircraft. Other military branches have been slowly divesting their variants of the same helicopter. Such as the US Army who have been gradually replacing their TH-55 variants with H145M helicopters from Airbus Helicopters for initial flight training.
The Navy trainer contract is contested between several OEM’s, with the Bell 407 airframe also in consideration. Leonardo Helicopters has put forth a solid offer putting forward the TH-119. The helicopter has been specifically customized to meet the Navy specifications and the company continues to innovate on the model. The company doing their best to show the TH-119 as a very appealing prospect compared to an off the shelf solution from the civilian sector.
The TH-119 maintains redundancies on several key systems, featuring a dual-display Genesys Aerospace cockpit giving instructors the flexibility to instruct from either seat of the helicopter and the option for VFR or IFR (IMC) training operations.
Other features included in the TH-119 variant that is vying for the top spot with the Navy include:
- A unique cabin configuration with an additional 180-degree adjustable trainer observation seat at the base of the instrument panel giving the occupant a full view of the cockpit;
- Full Night Vision Device (NVD) compatible cockpit and cabin with high-visibility cockpit doors and a low-profile instrument panel to ensure maximum visibility from the cockpit;
- Re-enforced skids with replaceable skid shoes which support the multiple repetitions of essential touchdown training maneuvers;
- Cargo hook and hoist options supporting advanced training events;
- And a five-fuel cell option that provides more than five hours of flight time with pressure refueling port allowing for less downtime to refuel as well as “hot” refueling while the engine is still
As the U.S. Navy faces increasing challenges to its current training helicopter platforms, the TH- 119 helicopter is the best solution for the U.S. Navy at the right time.
To see more on the TH-119, visit Leonardo-Finmeccanica on their website HERE