AW119 Koala Portugal’s one-engined wonder

Paulo Mata delves into the Força Aérea Portuguesa’s acquisition of AgustaWestland’s versatile AW119 Koala helicopter

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Exercise Real Thaw 2021: Agusta Westland AW119 Koala ‘29703’ inserts ground troops in a combat search and rescue scenario
Força Aérea Portuguesa

By the time the Força Aérea Portuguesa (FAP; Portuguese Air Force) withdrew its last Sud Aviation SE 3160 Alouette IIIs (AL III) on June 17, 2020, its successor had already been lurking in its shadow for more than a year: the sleek AW119 Koala. With the first pair delivered to Esquadra 552 ‘Zangões’ (55 Squadron ‘Bumblebees’) at Beja Air Base (AB) in Portugal’s Alentejo region, north of the Algarve, in 2019, an ambitious work began on developing the Leonardo-built helicopter to replace the Alouettes.

Portuguese love affair

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