Leonardo announced the signing of a contract with Italy’s Guardia di Finanza (GdF) for 22 new generation AW169M twin engine helicopters.
The contract, valued at 280 million euro, includes a comprehensive support and training package which could be further extended with optional services valued at an additional 100 million euro. Deliveries are expected to start in summer 2019 and to be completed by 2024.
The aircraft will be used to perform a range of roles including patrol and reconnaissance, law enforcement, rescue and homeland security, complementing a fleet of 14 AW139 intermediate twins, six of which are already in service and the following eight due to be delivered in 2019.
“This contract will allow us to deliver the Guardia di Finanza a new generation helicopter with the best technologies available, to perform missions which are getting more and more complex and challenging. Our ability to provide state-of-the-art products to meet the requirements of Italian government agencies and armed forces, for the security of our nation, is the result of Leonardo’s leading edge technology and innovation”, said Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo CEO.
The AW169Ms of Guardia di Finanza will receive a military qualification by the Italian Directorate of Air Armaments (ARMAEREO) and will feature a dedicated configuration including rescue hoist, emergency floatation system and life rafts, wire cutters, TCAS II (Traffic Collision Avoidance System), NVG (Night Vision Goggle) compatible cockpit, HTAWS (Helicopter Terrain Awareness Warning System), advanced communication system, OPLS (Obstacle Proximity Lidar System), advanced HUMS (Health Usage Monitoring System), AFCS (Automatic Flight Control System) with SAR modes, searchlight, ice detector, fast roping and satcom.
The aircraft will be also fitted with a range of Leonardo systems such as RW ATOS (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance) system with advanced operator console, Gabbiano radar, LEOSS (Long Range Electro-Optical Surveillance System), M428 IFF transponder, V/UHF radio systems cockpit panels and lighting and provisions for SPHYDER (Smart Processing Hyperspectral Detection and Reconnaissance System).
The contract for the AW169M by Guardia di Finanza follows the success of the AW169 type in Italy for emergency medical services with various operators across the nation. It also follows the success of the AW169 for law enforcement in Europe and the Americas.