Air Weapons

Agusta

A 129 Mangusta

The Kawasaki OH-1 (nicknamed Ninja) is Japan's first indigenous observation/combat helicopter intended to replace the older, local-built US OH-6. Although designated as an observation helicopter, the OH-1's design more closely resembles that of a conventional gunship on account of its narrow fuselage, stepped tandem cockpit, crew protection armor, and prominent stub wings which can carry a variety of stores, primarily air-to-air missiles for self-defense. It's other notable structural feature is a Fenestron ducted fan anti-torque tail while avionics include a targeting system involving FLIR, TV, and laser ranging systems. Although the total size of the project has been scaled down due to budget cuts, the OH-1 is slowly being introduced to the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force with the possiblity of a dedicated attack variant being developed to replace the AH-1 Cobra.

First flight of the Mangusta took place on 15 September 1983 with deliveries beginning in 1990 to the Italian Army as the A 129. A version designed exclusively for export was known as the A 129 International and features more powerful LHTEC engines in place of the earlier Piaggio-built Rolls-Royce Gem as well as a five-bladed rotor, wider choice of weaponry, and a fixed nose-mounted gun. An upgraded version for Italian service is the A 129 CBT with most of the improvements in the International albeit with the earlier Gem powerplant.

Preceded by:

None

Succeeded by:

None

Datafile

DesignA 129
NameMangusta
TypeClose Support
Year1990
Crew2
Dimensions
Length14.29 m
Height3.35 m
Rotor Diameter11.90 m
Rotor Disc Area111.2 m²
Wing Span11.90 m
Wing Area111.2 m²
Weight
Empty2,520 kg
Maximum4,100 kg
Wing Loading36.9 kg/m²
Performance
Speed276 km/h
Ceiling4,724 m
Range?
Powerplant
Engine2 x Gem Mk. 1004
Piaggio
608 kW
Thrust/Weight0.59
Armament
Guns2 x 12.7/20-mm
Payload1,200 kg
Hardpoints4
AS WeaponsAGM-114
HOT
TOW
Production
Built60
Total60

Gallery