Leonardo and the Guardia di Finanza celebrated today the delivery of the first of their AW169M helicopters featuring a special skid configuration. The delivery of the helicopter, held at the Leonardo plant in Vergiate (Varese), was celebrated during an official ceremony in the presence of representatives of the Company and the Operator.
The helicopter will be part of a fleet of 24 units, including six with fixed landing gear and 18 with skids. Deliveries of all helicopters will be completed by 2024 and will add to a fleet of 20 AW139s. The AW169Ms will be used for various tasks including patrolling as sea police, territorial control for economic-financial police needs, public order, rescue and other security missions.
The Guardia di Finanza started receiving the AW169M, a military-certified variant of the AW169, starting from the end of 2019, contributing to the modernization of its aircraft fleet. The Guardia di Finanza helicopters are equipped with a special configuration including rescue winch, lifeboats and lifeboats, cable cutters, advanced ground proximity and anti-collision systems, cockpit compatible with the use of night vision goggles, proximity alarm system advanced communications systems, diagnostic systems, search beacon, ice detector, satellite communications, cellular phone detector, hyperspectral remote sensing system.
In addition, the helicopters are equipped with a wide range of systems and sensors supplied by Leonardo including the RW ATOS mission system with an advanced console, the Gabbiano surveillance radar, the LEOSS electro-optical system, the transponder for identifying friend /enemy IFF M428, the anti-collision system based on OPLS laser technology, V/UHF communication systems, control panels and lighting systems. Furthermore, with this latest delivery advanced autopilot functions are introduced for search and rescue tasks (SAR Mode - Search and Rescue) with a single pilot on board according to the IFR (Instrument Flight Rules). The SAR functions allow the helicopter to be guided in automatic mode along a predefined route, thus reducing the pilot's workload during this critical phase of the mission. The AW169 is the only helicopter in its weight category to have advanced SAR Modes.