Austria has placed a 300 million euros ($352 million) order for 18 AW169M twin-engine helicopters from Leonardo Helicopters in a deal with Italy, Austrian Defence Minister Klaudia Tanner said on Monday.
The Italian deal beat out rival efforts by the Airbus and Bell, Tanner told a news conference.
According to the statement, around two thirds of the total cost will go to pay for the helicopters, and the rest will go to pay for training, logistics, spares and new infrastructure. Twelve of the helicopters will be used for operational missions, while the other six will be used for training and for secondary missions.
The new models will replace Austria’s fleet of 50-year-old Austrian Army’s Alouette III helicopters.
Deliveries are expected to start in summer 2022 and to be completed by 2024.
The AW169M can successfully perform a wide variety of roles including Troop Transport, Logistics Support, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Special Forces Operations, Command and Control, Medical Evacuation and Casualty Evacuation, Search and Rescue and Personnel Recovery. The aircraft will be used to perform a range of roles including patrol and reconnaissance, law enforcement, rescue and homeland security.