[Would you like to see this in-game?]
Description: Back in 1978, the Italian company Agusta was developing a new attack helicopter after a request from the Italian army. The company initially took the A109 and tried to modify it, but it turned out that the platform was not able to offer the performance required, so Agusta started to design a completely new platform. The A129 became the first dedicated attack helicopter in Europe. The first prototype flew for the first time on September 15, 1983. All four remaining prototypes were completed between 1983 and 1986, with the last one flying for the first time in March 1986. The first order featured a total of 66 units, but later it was reduced to 60. Due to some delays, the first five units became operational only in 1990. The A129 saw its first war in 1992 in Somalia during a UN special operation where they performed mainly reconnaissance armed with BGM 71 TOW anti-tank missiles and Medusa 81 mm tanks and armor rifles. The helicopter performed extremely well in that operation, but one problem became clear: the lack of a turret to destroy small targets with precision and low cost (since launching a TOW was surely effective against even small targets, but the missiles cost a lot more). To increase the performance of the A129, the Italian army took some parts from the A129 international, such as the 20 mm turret and the five-blade rotor. Other improvements were more modern avionics and the capability to carry air-to-air missiles. All the Mangustas were upgraded to the CBT standard between 2001 and 2008. From 2004 to 2005, they participated in the second Gulf War in Iraq in the operation “Antica Babilonia.” They performed various recon and anti-terrorism missions. One year later, the A129 started to operate in Afghanistan. In 2014, the 5th regiment of the AVES (Aviazione dell’Esercito) received the first upgraded A129D Delta Mangusta. The upgrade included much modern avionics, a new system, new weapons, and the F&F anty tank missile SPIKE ER. For guided spike missiles, the Delta was fitted with the Rafael TOP LITE optic, which was able to offer a much better guide to the missile, but it wasn’t able to use TOW anymore since it wasn’t capable of guiding it. The TOP LITE has an operative range of 20 km/h, ,the SPIKE ER has a range of 8 km and the SPIKE ER II has a range of 16 km. In 2014, 32 CBT were upgraded to the Delta variant. As said before, the helicopter was immediately deployed in Afghanistan, and it remained here to fight against the Taliban until 2021, when the ISAF troops left the country. Nowadays, there are 32 A129 D operative and 16 A129 CBT for training.
Why it should be in the game: The A129 Delta will naturally result the top tier for the Italian heli TT right now. It’s one of the word most advanced and powerful attack heli and for sure the best light attack heli of the world and in game it will be a fantastic addition for Italy.
Main rotor diameter: 11.9 meters (39 feet)
Tail rotor diameter: 2.24 meters (7 feet 4 inches)
Fuselage length: 12.275 meters (40 feet 3 inches)
Footprint length: 14.29 meters (46 feet 11 inches)
Overall height: 3.35 meters (11 feet )
Empty weight: 2,520 kilograms (5,575 pounds)
MTO weight: 4,100 kilograms (9,040 pounds)
Max speed: 295 km/h
Hover ceiling (in ground effect): 3,705 meters (12,300 feet)
Combat radius: 100 kilometers (62 MI / 54 NMI)
Endurance: 3 hours
Engines, 2x Rolls-Roice Gem 2 MK1004D Turboshaft
1x 20 mm TB-197 Cannon
8x SPIKE ER
8x SPIKE ER II
8x AIM92 Stinger
8x MBDA Mistral
2x FN M3P 12.7 mm machinegun pod
2x NC621 20 mm gun pod
4x LR25 Orione rocket launcher
76x Hydra-70 M247 Rokets
4x Medusa 81 mm roket launcher
SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM: Dall’AH-129, al T-129 ATAK fino all’AH-249: l’evoluzione della specie “MANGUSTA”
I Mangusta del “Rigel” lanciano i missili Spike – Analisi Difesa
AW-129 Mangusta - Militarypedia
Elicottero da esplorazione e scorta A 129 EES - Esercito Italiano
Agusta A129 Mangusta - Wikipedia
Afghanistan: i nuovi Mangusta AW129 "Delta" - Difesa Online
Maintenance Page - Associazione Nazionale Aviazione Esercito
Afghanistan: battesimo dell'aria per i nuovi Mangusta ultra-hitech | Wired Italia
AgustaWestland AW129 - Wikipedia
Italy definitely needs this helicopter and with the first Spike ER series, it will be similar (if not identical) in performance to EC.665 Tiger we already have in-game. Plus, the auto-targeting system is janky on ATGMs on existing Spike-LR and PARS-3LR in-game, so I don’t expect any game-breaking performance from this one.
+1 I have a feeling this will be added soon.
+1 this is what italy needs as a top tier Heli
+1 yeeeeeeeeeeees we need it, heli made in italy !
With the recent addition of spikes to the game, it’s high time this is added.
Yes, as long as the armament is limited to the Spike ER, it would be a fitting addition to the Italian helicopter research tree. Especially if it also includes a higher zoom level, which in my opinion is the biggest disadvantage of the A129 CBT Mangusta already in the game.
Yeah just some FnF action would be fun, I don’t think anyone really wants 16km of range. But 8km FnF? Now that seems amazing (and balanced, see the eurocopter Tiger HAP)!
You mean the Tiger UHT and its Pars 3 LR.
But the A129D would be better than the Tiger UHT. It has an automatic gun, Spike ER has a longer range at 8 km than Pars 3 LR at 7 km and the Mistral air-to-air missiles are much better than ATAS (Stinger).
The only advantages the tiger UHT has is the higher speed of Pars 3 LR and the mast sight that allows you to stay behind cover while reconnaissance. However, my experience has been that you can still be detected and destroyed, especially by Pantsirs Radar.
Furthermore, the main reason for balancing was the introduction of very strong anti-aircraft defenses for most nations and a lower one hit kill probabiliy. The USSR and China in particular benefited from this. Unfortunately, this is missing for nations like Italy (which becomes a problem at the latest when Spike ER is also available for the Spanish Tiger HAP within the French and AH 64 of the Israeli research tree) and even worse for Japan. That’s why I hope that along with more FaF missiles there will also be new anti-aircraft defenses, so that everyone gets anti-aircraft missiles with ranges of at least 10 km and search radars
The early Spike-ER missiles have a range between 400-8000m, so no far from PARS-3LR. Spike-ER II gets extended to 20.000m, but honestly: I would prefer not to have it in-game to keep it balanced. And many helicopters started with 1st gen of Spike-ER.
Also, the Fire-and-Forget tracking in War Thunder is poorly implemented, it fails to track in some cases even when the target is in full view (without any cover), if the target is partially covered you won’t even get a tracking resolution. As for staying hidden, it doesn’t work if the missile hits obstacles when launched, you actually need to be in higher elevation to launch them which will make you visible to SPAA. Combine this with the wonky lock and in most cases you will get countered by the SPAA before you can launch it (or at least be forced to get back into hiding).
The missile won’t break the game more than Vikrs did (and now Russians have them on Su-25T and SU-39 as well) and the low flying speed will make it easier to evade. If anyone will complain about them it’s the campers that got used to hide in plain sight because their nations already have powerful CAS and Anti-Air elements. Japan, Israel & Italy are the only ones missing a good top-tier SPAA but they’re already being put in the same teams, so they will be safe from A129D most of the time (unfortunately Ka-50s & 52s already are an issue to these nations, plus other CAS aircraft).
About the range:
8 km compared to 7 km doesn’t seem like much at first, but most anti-aircraft tanks at the second highest level have Roland 3 or a comparable missile that has 8 km range. This means that 8 km range for FaF missiles can make an enormous difference, especially if the opponents have not yet reached the end of the research tree. Even if, to be honest, Mistral and the gun are more decisive for me. I have personally experienced that jets are the greatest danger when you fly the Tiger UHT. ATAS hits rather badly and in the absolute close range you can’t do anything at all, while with the A129CBT I regularly shoot down enemy jets in close combat with the gun and at 2-4 km Mistral hits even the fastest jets very reliably.
On FaF in Warthunder:
Except for the Chinese tank, I have all vehicles and helicopters unlocked and played that have such ATGMs and in my personal experience the performance of them varies greatly. The Spike MR from the Freccia loses lock the fastest, at least in my experience, and also hits badly most of the time, so that you almost always only make critical hits, but no kills. The Spike LR2 of the Lynx (which I just unlocked yesterday) kills more reliably, but at the cost of a minimum range of 300-400 m. It also keeps the lock much better, perhaps because of its high trajectory. But the Pars 3 LR works best, with which I actually always hit, unless the enemy drives behind really high cover or deploys smoke. In addition, the Pars 3 LR, like the Spike LR2, is a much more reliable kill than the Spike MR and is comparable to hellfire.
Game braking is not the missile on an A129D, a Tiger HAD or an Israeli Apache, but it will highlight the problem of poor air defence with Japan, Italy and Israel and I really hope that Gaijin solves the problem either before or at least in the patch in which one of these helicopters comes.
Well, the SPAA (or better said the lack of them) at high BRs with potent missile ranges IS already a problem for these nations (Japan, Israel and Italy), but due to Appaches and most critically Ka-50/52 and Mi-28NM which are most of the time on the opposite side. Nowadays even the Su-25s now have access to Vikr ATGMs with 8-10km range and 550m/s speed, with very very few vehicles having potent armor to survive to 2-3 hits from the Vikr.
But this is an entirely different issue for an entirely different post section.
Spike-ER has ~170m/s speed and is top-down, will take well over a minute to travel to target from it’s max range (Hellfires and PARS-3LR takes around 50 seconds at top range) and on most maps with buildings, hills etc will become an issue to successfully hit, not to mention kill. And taking into consideration how Matchmaking works in the game A129D will not be an issue for Japan and Israel most of the time because they tend to be in the same teams with Italy (and A129D if it comes in-game). USSR, China, Britain and USA - the most probable enemy teams, already have 10 - 12 km range SPAA with potent missiles.
The 20mm turret and Mistral Anti-Air missiles are also nothing too special - they will just give Italy an extra incentive to have a decent enough vehicle to protect the ground forces from CAS, so I also see it as a +1 from me. I played with Mistrals on France and are less lethal than they used to be, I would however point out the Chinese TY-90s which are way more lethal. And still, with each update we see more AAM missiles that will make Mistrals less effective at defending the A129D (for example Aim-9M).
All being said, A129D has no reason why it can’t be in the game already and should be potent enough to go to 11.3 BR (I won’t expect it to be 10.0 or 10.3 like the actual Mangusta), but also less effective to not break the game’s balance and decimate enemy teams. I see the same effect as on T129: some people will complain it’s too lethal, others will complain the Spike missiles are too slow to be on par with the other nations. And some will learn to play with it and will do decent enough to be fun, but nothing too major to own games like some other helicopters already do.
The efficacy of Spikes is dubious at best, so when fired at 8km it’s highly unlikely that SPAA won’t be able to just drive behind cover. Now, if the AA is just sitting out in the open, in my opinion it is perfectly fine that it isn’t invulnerable to being hit by CAS - but judging from experience, even with the current iteration of hellfires, fighting rolands is immensely tough against a solid player, so I don’t think wonky Spikes will change much. What it will change however, is the fact that Italy really needs a top tier heli, and FnF missiles are just fun! They don’t even have to be that good!
We did it.
It will be added this update and even better the french get Spike ER too .
We did it ragazzi e ragazze!
This Is also my First implemented suggestion