Leonardo and the Directorate of Aeronautical Armaments and Airworthiness of the General Secretariat of Defense / National Directorate of Armaments yesterday signed the Acquisition Agreement for the supply of AW169M LUH (Light Uitlity Helicopter) helicopters destined for the Austrian Ministry of Defense. The Contract, worth 346 million euros, was signed as part of the Italy-Austria Government-to-Government (G2G) Agreement aimed at strengthening bilateral collaboration between the two countries and defining a strategic partnership in the field helicopter. Austria looks to Italy and the AW169M LUH to replace the Alouette III helicopter fleet, which has been in service since the XNUMXs.
The program provides for the delivery of 18 helicopters from the Leonardo plant in Vergiate (Varese) - six in the 'B' training version, twelve in the advanced multirole 'MA' version with the integration of the related mission systems and weapon systems - as well as to a complete and dedicated support and training package. The helicopters will be able to carry out a wide range of missions in response to the requirements of defense in Austria and the national community such as, among others, troop transport, combat, civil protection, response to major emergencies, firefighting, mountain rescue and medical aid. The first AW169M LUH will be delivered before the end of the year and deliveries will be completed by 2026. The Contract also includes options for an additional 18 helicopters. The Austrian crews will benefit from initial training provided with the support of the Italian Army, thanks to its experience as an AW169M LUH operator, and the provision of dedicated training and simulation systems.
The signing of yesterday was achieved thanks to the preliminary document to the G2G agreement signed by the Minister of Defense Lorenzo Guerini with his Austrian colleague Klaudia Tanner on 2 December last. The Minister of Defense, Lorenzo Guerini, declared: “Satisfied with a result that concretizes the transition to a new season of cooperation in the procurement sector, confirming the appreciation of Italian technology and products at an international level. The G2G is a very effective industrial policy tool, an intelligent formula to support exports in which we strongly believe ”.
Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo, said: "We are pleased to have reached this last stage to complete the G2G initiative between Italy and Austria, which allows us to contribute with the supply of the most advanced technological solution and effective to meet the rigorous requirements defined by the collaboration between the two Governments. We are ready to play an active role in this program ”.
Gian Piero Cutillo, Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters, said: “This Agreement provides further evidence of the excellent performance, the unique capabilities of the latest generation and the complete solutions for the support and training of the AW169M for carrying out multi-role tasks, to meet the most stringent needs of operators and for the mission effectiveness and safety of their personnel. This helicopter will make it possible to make a leap forward for national defense and emergency management in Austria ”.