The Austrian defense ministry has ordered 18 additional AW169M light utility helicopters from Italian aerospace firm Leonardo.
The acquisition is an option in the government-to-government contract signed between the two countries in 2021.
The aircraft will support Austrian troop transport, combat operations, disaster relief, and emergency response, according to Leonardo.
“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 operator,” the company stated.
The contract, valued at 304 million euros ($329 million), will bring the total number of AW169M light utility helicopters under order to 36.
Deliveries of the aircraft are expected to be completed by 2028.
Leonardo’s AW169M is an intermediate twin-engine helicopter that can operate day and night in challenging environments.
It features advanced avionics and an integrated glass cockpit to reduce pilot workload and maximize external visibility.
The chopper’s unobstructed cabin can accommodate up to 10 military personnel.
Additionally, the AW169M has improved ballistic protection and a defensive aid suite, ensuring a high level of survivability and crashworthiness.
“With its superior performance and unmatched latest generation capabilities, as well as the complete support and training services to perform true multirole operations, [the AW169M] is the most technologically advanced and cost-effective solution to meet the rigorous needs of the operator,” Leonardo stated.