The AW169M LUH helicopter program of the Austrian Ministry of Defense reached an important milestone today with the delivery of the first of the 18 aircraft ordered under the Italy-Austria intergovernmental agreement (G2G - Government-to-Government) announced by the two countries at the end of 2021. The delivery of the helicopter, built at the Leonardo plant in Vergiate, Italy, carried out in line with contractual obligations, was celebrated during an official ceremony held at the Tulln-Langenlebarn Brumowski Air Base, also in the presence of Leonardo's Top Management. Austria and Italy also announced today an amendment to the G2G Agreement, through which Austria exercises options for an additional 18 helicopters, providing further proof of its confidence in the selected platform.
The Italy-Austria G2G initiative aims to strengthen the bilateral collaboration between the two countries and establish a strategic partnership in the helicopter field with Austria which looks to the AW169M LUH for its plan to modernize and replace its old fleet of Alouette IIIs in service since the sixties.
The delivery of the first helicopter marks a significant leap forward for Austria, ushering in a new era of national defense and emergency management capability. Furthermore, it also represents an important milestone for Leonardo, which celebrates 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.
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 advanced and effective technological 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.
Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo's Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to see the first AW169M LUH in Austria and welcome the decision to further expand the fleet. We are ready to make an even greater contribution with the most advanced and effective technological solution to meet the stringent requirements defined by the collaboration between the two Governments. We are committed to supporting this important and growing program.”.