The Agusta A129 Mangusta (English: Mongoose) is an attack helicopter originally designed and produced by Italian company Agusta. It is the first attack helicopter to be designed and produced wholly in Europe. It has continued to be developed by AgustaWestland, the successor company to Agusta. It has been exclusively operated by the Italian Army, which introduced the type to service during 1990.
The A129 has undergone several combat deployments, seeing use in Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. It has proven well suited to operating in hot climates, as well as quite flexible in the field. The original 60 rotorcraft have been upgraded multiple times since entering service with the Italian Army; improvements have included compatibility with additional munitions, new targeting systems, improved avionics, better data-handling, and a more powerful transmission. Various improvements and export models have been proposed, including dedicated naval and reconnaissance variants. Perhaps the most notable derivative of the A129 is the TAI/AgustaWestland T129 ATAK, which has been developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries in cooperation with AgustaWestland for the Turkish Army as well as other services and export customers. Since 2017, work has been underway on a large successor to the A129 for the Italian Army, known as the Leonardo Helicopters AW249.
A129 Mangusta CHARACTERISTICS
Length: 12.28 m (40 ft 3 in)
Height: 3.35 m (11 ft 0 in)
Empty weight: 2,530 kg (5,578 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 4,600 kg (10,141 lb)
Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce Gem 2-1004D (license built by Piaggio) turboshaft engines, 664 kW (890 hp) each
Main rotor diameter: 11.9 m (39 ft 1 in)
Main rotor area: 111.2 m2 (1,197 sq ft) 5-bladed main rotor
Maximum speed: 278 km/h (173 mph, 150 kn)
Cruise speed: 229 km/h (142 mph, 124 kn)
Range: 510 km (320 mi, 280 nmi)
Ferry range: 1,000 km (620 mi, 540 nmi)
Service ceiling: 4,725 m (15,502 ft)
Rate of climb: 10.2 m/s (2,010 ft/min)
1× 20 mm (0.787 in) M197 three-barrel Gatling-type cannon (500 rounds) in a TM197B Light Turreted Gun System (only CBT version)
12.7 mm (.50 in) machine gun pod
Rockets: 4 pods with
38× 81 mm (3.19 in) unguided rockets or
76× 70 mm (2.75 in) unguided rockets or
8× AGM-114 Hellfire or BGM-71 TOW or Spike-ER anti-tank missiles
4-8× AIM-92 Stinger or Mistral anti-aircraft missiles
The A129 is equipped with infrared night vision systems and is capable of operating at day or night in all-weather conditions.