The Austrian Ministry of Defense has taken delivery of the first of an initial order of 18 Leonardo AW169M LUH helicopters under a 2021 Italy-Austria government-to-government agreement. The handover was made in December at the Tulln-Langenlebarn Brumowski Air Base (LOXT) in Austria. Also today, Austria announced that it was exercising its option for a second lot of 18 AW169Ms. The new helicopters will replace a fleet of Alouette III aircraft that have been in service since the 1960s.
The medium twin AW169Ms will be kitted for a variety of missions including troop transport, combat operations, disaster relief and emergency response, fire- fighting, mountain rescue and medevac. Austria’s is the first export order for the militarized version of the AW169 which is produced at Leonardo’s Vergiate plant. Austrian crews already have begun training on the new helicopter at Leonardo’s Training Academy in Sesto Calende, Italy and will be supported by the Italian Army units already flying the helicopter.
Leonardo has received orders and options for more than 300 AW169s and delivered more than 150 to operators in nearly 30 countries. The in-service fleet has accumulated more than 128,000 flight hours. The aircraft is powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney PW210 engines and features avionics built around digital Collins avionics with capabilities including night-vision-goggle compatibility and a four-axis digital automatic flight-control system.