Leonardo has chosen French defense firm Safran to equip the Kopter AW09 multi-role helicopter with a new engine.
The chopper currently features Honeywell’s HTS900 turboshaft engine, but Leonardo says it needs to enhance the capabilities and competitiveness of the next-generation aircraft.
As part of the new partnership, the AW09 chopper will now be powered by the Arriel 2K engine, the latest in the Arriel family of aircraft engines.
Leonardo stated that the new engine has already been installed on the latest AW09 prototype, “PS4,” and is now awaiting flight testing.
“We are proud that Leonardo has placed its trust once again in Safran Helicopter Engines to power its latest light helicopter,” Safran chief executive officer Franck Saudo said in a press release.
“The Arriel 2K engine is the latest version of the well-known Arriel engine family and will clearly bring a high level of capability, reliability, and ease of operations to the AW09.”
The AW09 Helicopter
Formerly known as the SH09, the AW09 is a high-performance, single-engine helicopter with improved versatility to tackle multiple missions.
It has a spacious cabin that accommodates a pilot and up to eight passengers.
According to Leonardo, the chopper has modern electronic systems and a low noise signature, making it suitable for covert operations.
It is also optimized for numerous roles, including passenger transport, utility, surveillance, and medical evacuation.
The aircraft’s speed can reach 260 kilometers (161 miles) per hour.
“Since the integration of Kopter into our organization and the introduction of the AW09 into our product range, we have firmly maintained our commitment to deliver to the market exactly what it expects from a single engine of the latest standards backed by an efficient and responsive global support network,” Leonardo official Gian Piero Cutillo stressed.
“The decision to select this propulsion system is totally consistent with this strategy and we look forward to working with our partner to bring the most modern single engine on the commercial market.”