Vienna, September 21, 2020 – The decision has been made: the Ministry of Defense is buying 18 Leonardo AW169M helicopters, the procurement is carried out in cooperation with Italy and is worth around 300 million euros.
“Investing in Security”
Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner announced the decision on Monday: “With this helicopter we are buying a highly efficient and modern device that not only serves the security of our soldiers, but also the security of the entire population. We are investing in the security of Austria.”
Replacement for old fleet
The new helicopters will replace the light liaison and transport helicopters “Alouette” III, which have been in service since 1967 and will have to be retired at the end of 2023 for technical reasons.
Powerful and versatile
The AW169M is particularly powerful and therefore ideally suited for use in the mountains. Its avionics enable it to fly at night or in poor weather conditions. The system includes several items that enable the helicopter to be used for a wide range of missions: for transporting people and materials as well as for extinguishing forest fires, for aerial reconnaissance and much more.
Some of the new helicopters will be used as school helicopters. This means that training can be made more efficient and the squadrons are relieved of training tasks. If necessary, the school helicopters can also be used for operational tasks at any time.
Source: Austrian MoD – Unofficial translation by EDR On-Line
Photos courtesy Leonardo – Viewgraph courtesy Austrian MoD