Leonardo AW109 Trekker
Leonardo is pitching its twin-engine AW109 Trekker to the Australian special forces as part of a program to revamp the units’ land mobility.
The AW109 is “a fully commercial, off-the-shelf solution to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) needs for Land 2097, Phase 4-Special Operations Rotary Wing Capability,” and is on display at the Land Forces 2018 conference in Adelaide, Australia.
The Trekker boasts a cabin equal in size to the AW109 Grand/GrandNew, can accommodate up to six troops and is readily deployable by C-17 transport aircraft.
“It incorporates a state-of-the-art glass cockpit, and offers the highest power to weight ratio and payload in its class, making it a superior, immediately available solution capable of meeting the stringent demands of the Australian Army Special Forces,” Leonardo said in a prepared statement.
In order to meet the special operations needs for the ADF’s Land 2097 project, Leonardo has equipped the Trekker with cargo hook, external rescue hoist, rappelling and searchlight capabilities, as well as forward-looking infrared (FLIR) cameras, video downlinks, landing-zone threat suppression, high ballistic tolerance and a modular interior layout for operational flexibility.
Leonardo is currently establishing a local main rotor transmission repair and overhaul facility in Australia, which it claims will further enhance flight availability.
“No longer will critical components lie in huge store stocks or have to be shipped overseas to the OEMs every time,” the company said. “Leonardo ensures no-fault-founds and first level maintenance can be performed alongside the AW109 Trekkers ensuring the shortest turn-around times and operational readiness.”