AH-129D

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AH-129D
a_129_d.png
GarageImage AH-129D.jpg
AH-129D
Research:400 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:1 030 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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Description

After the upgrade of Mangustas to the CBT standard between 2001 and 2008 and operated during the second Gulf War in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2004 to 2006, the Italian Army decided to upgrade the A-129CBT with new avionics, systems and weapons one of these weapons was the F&F anti-tank missile SPIKE ER guided by the Rafael TOP LITE optic at the start of the launch and the consequent track of the SPIKE missile, with this upgraded version of the A-129, lost the ability to launch the TOW because of his new optic, the first AH-129D (D stands for Delta) were acquired in 2014 from the 5°Reggimento AVES (AViazione dell'ESercito), in the same year a total of 32 A-129CBT were upgraded to the Delta Standard, the AH-129D was immediately deployed and remained in service Afghanistan until 2021 when the ISAF troops left the country. Nowadays, there are 32 AH-129D operative and 16 A129CBT for training.

The AH-129D Mangusta introduced with the "Kings of Battle" update, is the top Helicopter of the Italian Tree, the main difference between the AH-129D from the A129CBT is basically the armament, the Delta carry SPIKE ERs but no TOWs, which are F&F Missiles and tracks every type of target, and at the same time so when you launch 8 SPIKEs you can kill 8 target simultaneously thanks to the F&F feature of the SPIKE but the main problem of the SPIKE is the Speed, the rest of the helicopter stays the same as the A129CBT.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 1 000 m292 km/h
Max altitude5 400 m
Engine2 х Rolls-Royce GEM 2-1004D
Take-off weight5 t

Outfitting the AH-129D with general payload options (Spikes,Hellfires, rockets, air-to-air missiles) does not make the helicopter any slower than its adversaries, in fact at times you'll easily be one of the fastest helicopters on the battlefield. The AH-129D is able to do manoeuvres other helicopters can only dream about, even with full payload options. In Ground RB matches however, there should not be many times you'll have to move too much to avoid enemies. You are able to get good positions thanks to your speed, and, if done right, you will be able to dodge incoming missiles from enemy SPAA or jet aircraft.

Characteristics Max speed
(km/h at _,___ m)
Max altitude
(metres)
AB RB
Stock 269 253 5400
Upgraded 319 295

Survivability and armour

IRCM
Protects against IR-guided missiles
Crew2 people
Speed of destruction
Structural460 km/h
Gear420 km/h

Unlike its the A-129 CBT, the AH-129D has access to the MAWS (missile approach warning system) which can be configured to activate together and automatically set off its counter-measures in game. Generally speaking however the AH-129D is not very survivable. Like many helicopters at its battle rating, it is prone to exploding into many pieces after a hit from a missile. It does have some armour on the cockpit area, but in battles that won't really protect you from anything you'll face. The AH-129D uses Kevlar boron carbide, a composite material which is limited only to instrument, floor and side panels around the cockpit. It does not provide the same level of protection as seen on other helicopters.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB8 741 → 15 768 Sl icon.png
RB4 552 → 8 211 Sl icon.png
SB6 104 → 11 011 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications308 000 Rp icon.png
454 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 900 Ge icon.png
Crew training300 000 Sl icon.png
Experts1 030 000 Sl icon.png
Aces3 000 Ge icon.png
Research Aces1 140 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
100 / 200 / 240 % Sl icon.png
238 / 238 / 238 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods jet compressor.png
Compressor
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods cd 98 main rotor.png
Replacing helicopter blades
Research:
14 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
480 Ge icon.png
Mods jet engine.png
Engine
Research:
13 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
440 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
Cover
Research:
20 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
29 000 Sl icon.png
680 Ge icon.png
Mods heli flak jacket.png
Flak jacket
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods heli structure.png
Helicopter frame
Research:
13 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
440 Ge icon.png
Mods jet engine extinguisher.png
EFS
Research:
20 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
29 000 Sl icon.png
680 Ge icon.png
Mods gunpods.png
FN HMP400 LCC
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods ammo.png
t_160_belt_pack
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
HL-19-70
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods heli false thermal targets.png
Flares/Chaff
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
15 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods rocket gun.png
FN RMP LC
Research:
14 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
480 Ge icon.png
Mods weapon.png
t_160_new_gun
Research:
14 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
480 Ge icon.png
Mods atgm heli preset.png
AGM-114 2
Research:
14 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
480 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods counterMeasures.png
IRCM
Research:
14 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
480 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
bmg50_belt_pack
Research:
13 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
440 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods air to air missile.png
AIM-92 Stinger
Research:
13 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
440 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods atgm heli preset.png
Spike ER
Research:
13 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
440 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods thermal sight.png
NVD
Research:
13 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
440 Ge icon.png
Mods weapon.png
bmg50_new_gun
Research:
20 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
29 000 Sl icon.png
680 Ge icon.png
Mods air to air missile.png
ATAM
Research:
20 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
29 000 Sl icon.png
680 Ge icon.png
Mods atgm heli preset.png
Spike ER /4
Research:
20 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
29 000 Sl icon.png
680 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Night vision devices
Improves visibility by enhancing natural light or active illumination.
Thermal imager
Allows to see thermal radiation in the infrared range day and night

Offensive armament

Main article: TM197B (20 mm)

The AH-129D is armed with:

  • A choice between two presets:
    • 1 x 20 mm TM197B cannon, nose turret (750 rpg) + 90 x countermeasures
    • 1 x 20 mm TM197B cannon + 90 x countermeasures + IRCM

Suspended armament

The AH-129D can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

Default weapon presets
  • Without load
  • 28 x Hydra-70 M247 rockets
  • 76 x Hydra-70 M247 rockets
  • 2 x 12.7 mm FN M3P machine guns (250 rpg = 500 total)
  • 2 x 12.7 mm FN M3P machine guns (250 rpg = 500 total) + 6 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
  • 4 x AGM-114B Hellfire missiles
  • 8 x AGM-114B Hellfire missiles
  • 4 x Spike ER missiles
  • 8 x Spike ER missiles
  • 8 x ATAS (AIM-92) missiles
  • 8 x Mistral missiles

Usage in battles

Describe the tactics of playing in a helicopter, the features of using the helicopter in a team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view, but instead, give the reader food for thought. Examine the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Access to SPIKE ER2 fire and forget anti-tank missiles
  • Access to MAWS (missile approach warning system)
  • Very good and in most cases, unmatched manoeuvrability
  • Good speed
  • Deadly 20 mm autocannon
  • Can carry AIM-92 Stinger or Mistral air-to-air missiles
  • Very effective anti-tank capabilities
  • Has access to countermeasures and a ballistic computer
  • Access to IRST auto tracker which is very effective against planes
  • Has IRCM which prevents the stable lock of IR missiles without ECCM

Cons:

  • Fragile, cannot tank as many hits as its counterparts
  • Spike fire-and-forget missiles are extremely slow

History

The story of the A129 Mangusta "Delta", (also known as A129 ESS, AH-129D and A129 Mangusta) began during the late stages of the Cold War. The helicopter began to be developed at the request of the Italian Army, whom saw the need to equip its air units with a dedicated attack helicopter with anti-tank capabilities. The A129 was the first dedicated attack helicopter fully designed and built in Western Europe. Its project began in 1978 and its final project was ready only in 1982. The A129 made its first official maiden flight on the 15th of September of 1983, at the Agusta company Cascina-Costa facilities. The flight lasted about 30 minutes. Agusta pilots were extremely happy with the results, and went on record and said that the helicopter had great handling. They had previously only performed shake down flights twice prior to the first official flight. It was given the name Mangusta by the Italian army and Agusta employees. This name was mainly chosen due to the fact that the A129 was a direct competitor of the Bell A-1 Cobra that at that time rivaled the Agusta project. (The mongoose is known for its ease in killing poisonous snakes).

Agusta would continue to develop the A129 Mangusta and would see extensive service in the Balkans as part of the Italian peace keeping contigent for the NATO lead KFOR. It would also be used in Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. After the first A-129A's began being used in service, Agusta developed the A-129 International which was primarily made for export. In short during that era they didn't have a lot of luck but did use what they learned from the International by making what is known as the A-129 Mangusta "Combat" or "CBT" for short. The CBT was an updated version for the Italian Army, incorporating the same advances of the International version where the avionics and armament were modernized, the motorization however was kept original with Rolls Royce Gem 2-1004D's that produced a maximum unit power of 1120 HP. Years would pass and the CBT would require one final upgrade for it to remain in service, as such Agusta would once again be in charge and would look into what the Italian army would require.

After a lot of talk and design proposals, Agusta would finally come out with the A-129 Mangusta "Delta" also known as the AH-129D. The Delta variant of the Mangusta would be first presented in 2011. It would be highly advanced as it replaced the now out of service TOW anti-tank missile with the Israeli-made Spike fire-and-forget missile. The AH-129D variant also improved the avionics and optics of the Mangusta, incorporating the Rafael TOPLITE optic which offered not only better visibility but improved also in the zoom and thermal imaging department. The first user of the AH-129D would be the 5th regiment of the AVES (Aviazione dell’Esercito), Italy would go unto quickly use it in Afghanistan. What was discovered is that during its service there, the AH-129D would rack up more flight hours than its peers as according to pilots stationed there at the time, the Mangusta was better suited for this type of counter-insurgency role. As of now the Delta variant of the Mangusta is still very much in active service, but by 2027 the Italian army hopes that Leonardo will have begun to deliver the replacement of the Delta, known as the AH/AW-249 'Fenice'.

Devblog History

Following the introduction of the A129 CBT into service, Agusta continued refining the design of their light attack helicopter and quickly developed a successor model in the early 2010s — the AH-129D. Closely resembling the preceding A129 CBT, the new ‘Delta’ variant featured updated avionics and a new targeting system as well as improved structural strength through the use of more advanced materials. Crucially however, the updated electronics enabled the helicopter to be armed with the much more capable Spike ATGMs, which entered service with the vehicle in 2014.

Presently, the A129s in service with the Italian military are undergoing modernization programs to be upgraded to the latest ‘Delta’ variant of which several dozen vehicles have already completed this modification.

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See also

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Agusta
Utility  AB 205 A-1* · A.109EOA-2
Attack  A-129 International (p) · A129CBT · AH-129D · T129**
Export  HKP3C
See Also  Bell Aircraft Corporation · TAI
  *Licensed · **Partnership with TAI

Italy helicopters
Utility  AB 205 A-1 · A.109EOA-2
Attack  A-129 International (p) · A129CBT · AH-129D · T129
Hungary  ◔Mi-24D · ◔Mi-24V · ◔Mi-24P