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Austria finalises additional AW169 helo buy from Italy

With the signing for a second batch of 18 helicopters, Austria is to receive 36 AW169M LUH platforms by the end of 2028. (Bundesheer)

Austria has finalised a contract to acquire an additional 18 Leonardo AW169 medium-twin helicopters from Italy.

The manufacturer announced the milestone on 19 January, saying that the EUR304 million (USD329 million) deal for the AW169M Light Utility Helicopters (LUHs) follows a declaration of intent signed between Austria and Italy in December 2022.

The deal was signed between Leonardo and the Directorate for Air Armaments and Airworthiness of the Italian Secretariat General of Defence/National Armaments Directorate, and brings the number of AW169M LUH helicopters acquired by the Austrian Ministry of Defence (MoD) to 36.

The AW169M LUHs will be able to conduct a wide range of missions supporting Austrian defence and civil support requirements, such as troop transport, combat operations, disaster relief and emergency response, firefighting, mountain rescue, and medical evacuation. Janes was told that some of the helicopters will be equipped with a weapons package that will consist of 12.7 mm heavy machine gun pods, 70 mm unguided and laser-guided rockets, as well as an electro-optic/infrared sensor.

With the first of the 36 helicopters having been flown into Langenlebarn Air Base near Vienna on 21 December 2022, deliveries are due to be complete by the end of 2028.

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