South Africa receives first A109LUH
24 Oct 2005
Today the South African Air Force (SAAF) took delivery of the first four Agusta Westland A109 Light Utility Helicopters. The official hand over took place at the SAAF Bloemfontein Base.
The first batch is part of an order for 30 A 109 LUH helicopters powered by Turbomeca Arrius 2K2 engines. the A109 LUHs will initially be based at Bloemfontein to be used in various roles, including humanitarian operations and disaster relief. The initial five aircraft were produced in Italy, after which the production and assembly line was moved to Denel of South Africa. The first of these was rolled out in September 2002. Denel will manufacture the remaining 25 A 109 LUHs, the first of which was completed about one year ago.
The purchase of the 30 helicopters was approved by South Africa's cabinet in September 1999, including an option for a further 10 aircraft. The A 109 LUH/LOH has also been ordered by Sweden (20) and Malaysia (11).