RID – Italian Defense Magazine

Leonardo and the Directorate of Aeronautical Armaments and Airworthiness of the General Secretariat of Defense / National Directorate of Armaments have signed the acquisition contract for the supply of 18 AW-169M LUH helicopters to 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 2 countries and defining a strategic partnership in the field helicopter. In this context, the Secretariat has affixed its signature to the contract in the name and on behalf of the Austrian Government as required by the G2G scheme. The “curious” aspect of this agreement with Austria is however represented by the fact that in this case it is a G2G signed with an EU country, whereas, generally, the G2G is a tool that is used with countries outside the a circle of permanent and structured alliances such as the EU or NATO. Of the 18 helicopters – which will be produced at the Leonardo plant in Vergiate (Varese) – 6 will be in the B training version and 12 in the MA (Advanced Multirole) version. The contract, which also includes 18 additional optional machines, also provides for the supply of support and training. The first AW-169M will be delivered before the end of the year and deliveries will be completed by 2026.

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