Leonardo and the General Secretariat of Defense / National Armaments Directorate yesterday signed the contract for the acquisition of an additional 18 AW169M LUH (Light Utility Helicopter) helicopters destined for the Austrian Ministry of Defence. The Contract, worth €304 million, was signed as part of the amendment to the Italy-Austria Government-to-Government (G2G) agreement signed in December 2022 through which Austria exercises options to acquire of these additional helicopters, thus reconfirming its trust in the selected platform.
This latest contract brings the total number of AW36M LUHs for the Austrian Ministry of Defense to 169. The first helicopter was delivered, in line with contractual obligations, during an official ceremony last December, ushering in a new era for Austria's national defense and country's emergency management capability. Furthermore, it also meant an important milestone for Leonardo, who celebrated the first delivery on the export market of the AW169M variant, as part of a G2G programme. The Austrian crews have already started using the initial training, provided at Leonardo's Training Academy in Sesto Calende (Italy), and will also benefit from the training capabilities of the Italian Army, as operator of the AW169M LUH. Deliveries of all helicopters will be completed by 2028.
The Italy-Austria G2G initiative is aimed at strengthening the bilateral collaboration between the two countries and at establishing a strategic partnership in the helicopter field. Austria is looking to Italy and the AW169M LUH for its modernization plan and for the replacement of the Alouette III helicopter fleet, in service since the XNUMXs.
The AW169M LUH, thanks to its extraordinary performance and unique and next-generation capabilities, as well as comprehensive and specific support and training services for multi-role missions, is the most technologically advanced and effective solution to meet the stringent operator requirements. The AW169M LUHs will be able to perform a wide range of missions in support of the needs of the Austrian defense and the national community such as troop transport, combat, civil protection, major emergency response, firefighting, mountain rescue and medical rescue.