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A-109 Agusta

The Agusta A-109A and A-109BA operated by respectively the Italian and Belgium Army are used for light transport, reconnaissance and air-to-ground missions. The A-109 was developed by the Italian company Agusta.
The A-109 is a conventional type helicopter (1 main rotor and 1 tail rotor) which has a cabin capable of carrying a maximum of 6 passengers or +/- 4 equipped soldiers. The heli has a non-retractable landing gear (two main gears, 1 nose gear). The tail rotor is low mounted on the tail.

Several version were made like the normal A-109 version, a improved A-109E Power version and the most advanced A-109LUH version. See also A-109.

The A-109 attack helicopter is in service with:

1. Belgium
2. Italy
3. Benin


1. Belgium
Between 1992 and 1994 Agusta delivered 46 A-109BA helicopters (28 anti-tank & 18 reconnaissance) to the Belgian Army. These were operated with the designation "Licht Vliegwezen" . In 2004 the Belgian Army A-109BA became part of the Belgian "Lucht component: (Air Force) as the Wing Heli.

Two and later 3 more anti-tank helicopters were sold to Benin.
Two helicopters are seriously damaged (one in a crash and one flew against electricity cables).
Some other helicopters were disbanded.

The remaining helicopters are different equipped for missions as anti-tank, reconnaissance, light transport, medical evacuation (widened cabin), and for usage to domestic tasks like organ transport (aerial ambulance missions).

The remaining 28 operational A-109BA helicopters are stationed on the Air Force Base of Bierset (military side of Liege Airport) in the East of Belgium. In 2008, the Belgian government wanted to deploy 4 A-109BA agusta helicopters to Congo. The deployment is unsure because with the required configuration the A-109BA is not capable to fulfil its mission (because of the high temperature).

The A-109BA is equipped with the avionic systems:

- HF
- CNR (Combat Net Radio)
- Homing

- RMI (Radio Magnetic Indicator)
- ADF (Automatic Direction Finder)
- Doppler / GPS
- SHIU (Stand and Hover Indication Unit)
- MDU (Map Display Unit)

Other systems installed in the A-109BA are:
- 2 Control Display Units (CDU)
- Radio altimeter
- Encoder altimeter
- IFF (Identification Friend of Foe Mode 1,2,3A,4C)
- Sight line indicator
- Dual axis autopilot

The anti-tank version was previously equipped with HOT anti-tank missiles. The launchers can be see below on the second photo. The HOT missiles are replaced by TOW wire-guided missiles.

The A-109BA has been deployed for missions in Africa (Benin) and to Albania as part of KFOR.
In 2008 the first A-109BA was crashed due to a tail rotor failure. Two were seriously injured and 2 other injured.

2. Italy
The A-109ECO TOW Agusta helicopters belong to the Air-Cavalry of the Italian Army. The A-109 is also used by the Italian military police.

3. Benin
The Air Force of Benin has bought 2 A-109BA attack helicopters from Belgium. In 2008/2009, 3 more helicopters will be delivered whereof one will only be used for spare parts.

These pictures are with permission from the Belgium Ministry of Defence Belgium Defence Website

A-109 Agusta from the Belgium air force on operational mission in Bosnia

A-109 Agusta from the Belgium air force

A-109 Agusta from the Belgium air force

A-109 Agusta from the Belgium air force
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Last updated: August 14, 2010