The 304 M€ contract for additional 18 helicopters follows the Italy-Austria Government-to- Government (G2G) Agreement amendment signed in December 2022 and brings to 36 the total number of AW169M LUH for the Austrian MoD.
First batch of 18 Leonardo AW169M LUH signed in January 2022
Leonardo and the Directorate for Air Armaments and Airworthiness of the Italian Secretariat General of Defence/National Armaments Directorate signed yesterday the Acquisition Contract for the supply of an additional 18 AW169M Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) to the Austrian Ministry of Defence. The contract, valued at 304 M€, was signed following the Italy-Austria Government-to-Government (G2G) Agreement amendment signed in December 2022, through which Austria is exercising options for these additional units, providing further evidence of its confidence in the selected platform. This latest contract will bring to 36 the total number of AW169M LUHs for the Austrian Ministry of Defence. The first aircraft was delivered in December 2022 during an official ceremony and in line with the contractual obligations, starting a new era in national defence and emergency response capabilities.
Replacement of Austria's ageing Alouette III aircraft fleet
Furthermore, it also represents an important milestone for Leonardo, celebrating the first delivery to the export market of the AW169M variant under a G2G programme. Austrian crews have already been leveraging initial training supplied at Leonardo’s Training Academy in Sesto Calende (Italy) and will be supported by the Italian Army’s training capabilities as an AW169M LUH operator. Deliveries of all aircraft are expected to be completed by 2028. The Italy-Austria G2G initiative is aimed at reinforcing the bilateral collaboration between the two countries and establishing a strategic partnership in the rotorcraft sector, with Austria looking at Italy and the AW169M LUH programme for its modernisation plan and the replacement of its ageing Alouette III aircraft fleet, which have been in service since the 1960s.
The AW169M designed to the latest FAR/JAR/EASA requirements
The AW169M represents the military variant of the AW169, the future generation helicopter developed by Leonardo and equipped with state-of-the-art on-board technologies, designed to the latest FAR/JAR/EASA requirements as well as those standards of military, homeland security and government users. The platform features outstanding power, agility and manoeuvrability, which provides excellent handling characteristics in a wide range of operating conditions including hot and high. The unique transmission design provides power to hydraulic, electrical and air conditioning systems with the rotors stopped (APU mode) optimising response time and availability. The cabin is the most spacious in its class and features a constant height cross section for rapid reconfiguration and ease of access. Pilots benefit from a latest-generation, open-architecture avionics suite, including a fully-digital glass cockpit and unprecedented external visibility, providing advanced tactical and situational awareness.