The AW129 Multirole Combat Helicopter is the latest variant of the A129 Mangusta (Mongoose) helicopter in service with the Italian Army. It is manufactured by AgustaWestland, a joint venture, which was originally formed by Finmeccanica of Italy and GKN in the UK, but now is wholly owned by Finmeccanica.
The International A129 AW129 was renamed in 2007. The AW129 is a multi-role helicopter for reconnaissance and armed guards, high land value the commitment of the destination, escort, fire support and air threat suppression. He is armed with powerful new air-ground and air to air missiles, a cannon off-axis and a major weapon payload. The five-bladed A129 International also has more powerful engines than the four-bladed Mangusta.
The Italian army is equipped with 60 A129 Mangusta helicopters and AW129 15, known as A129 (combat configuration) CBT.
In January 2002, AgustaWestland was awarded a contract to upgrade the first 45 to the standard MFP. The upgrade includes: five-blade main rotor and comprising two blade tail rotor, Rolls-Royce Gem 1004, the new stronger transmission with a torque of 1,700 shp, strengthened fuselage giving an increase in takeoff weight of 4,600 kg, improved weapons systems including 20mm Oto Melara 197b nose-mounted cannon and air-air Stinger missiles, new FLIR (Forward-Looking Infrared) system, improved countermeasures suite including EADS AN / AAR -60 missile launch detector and a new global positioning / inertial navigation (GPS / INS) system. Deliveries completed in July 2008.