The pilots and aircrew of the three AgustaWestland AW-109 "Power" helicopters delivered and commissioned last December are now undergoing training on the proper usage and deployment of the forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and night vision equipment (NVG) which are installed in the aircraft.
Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic, Navy spokesperson, said the training, being conducted by technical representatives of AgustaWestland, started in late December and will continue until the end of March.
"With its FLIR, the AW-109s have a more enhanced search-and-rescue capability than any of our existing aircraft. Also, it is fitted with a night vision gear, making it very ideal to conduct missions during nighttime," Fabic said earlier.
FLIR uses an imaging technology that senses infrared radiation.
The sensors installed in forward-looking infrared cameras — as well as those of other thermal imaging cameras — use detection of infrared radiation, typically emitted from a heat source (thermal radiation), to create a "picture" assembled for video output.
The AW-109 "Power" helicopter is a three-ton class eight-seat helicopter powered by two Pratt and Whitney PW206C engines.
The spacious cabin is designed to be fitted with a number of modular equipment packages for quick and easy conversion between roles.
The aircraft’s safety features include a fully separated fuel system, dual hydraulic boost system, dual electrical systems and redundant lubrication and cooling systems for the main transmission and engines.
The AW-109 has established itself as the world’s best selling light-twin helicopter for maritime missions.
Its superior speed, capacity and productivity combined with reliability and ease of maintenance make it the most cost-effective maritime helicopter in its class.
For shipboard operations, the aircraft has a reinforced-wheeled landing gear and deck mooring points as well as extensive corrosion protection measures.
The ability to operate from small ships in high sea state enables the AW-109 to perform its mission when many other helicopters would be confined to the ship’s hangar.
Over 550 AW-109 "Power" and AW-109 light utility helicopters have been ordered for commercial, para-public and military applications by customers in almost 50 countries.