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 million EUR, 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. 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 LUH, with its superior performance and unmatched latest generation capabilities, as well as the complete support and training services to perform true multirole operations, is the most technologically advanced and cost-effective solution to meet the rigorous needs of the operator. The AW169M LUHs will be able to carry out a wide range of missions supporting Austrian defence requirements and the national community, such as troop transport, combat operations, disaster relief and emergency response, fire-fighting, mountain rescue and MEDEVAC.