Agusta A109BA Hirundo
Twin-engine antitank and utility helicopter
On December 8th 1988 the Belgian Government decided to acquire 46 Agusta A109BA (Belgian Army) Hirundo helicopters. These aircraft replaced a number of Alouette II light helicopters in the armed reconnaissance role (HRecce, with machine guns) and observation role (HO). The Agusta's were also used for anti-tank missions, equipped with Helitow anti-tank missiles (HA), tactical support missions equipped with rocket launchers (HLR), as Medevac helicopter (Medical Evacuation) (HMed) and transport helicopter (HTpt). Since early 2003 all Hirundos were brought up to the same multirole standard and were operated by the 17th and 18th Squadrons MRH (Multi-role helicopter). As a consequence of the reorganisations of the Belgian Defence all Agusta's were transferred to the Air Component from the Army Component while a number of the Hirundo's have been withdrawn from use and stored at Zutendaal airbase pending their sale. The remaining operational Agusta's are based at Beauvechain airbase as part of the Wing Heli.