Austria is ordering 18 Leonardo AW169M helicopters in a deal with Italy, Austrian Defence Minister Klaudia Tanner said on Monday.
The Italian deal beat out rival efforts by the United States and Germany, Tanner told a news conference. The new models will replace Austria’s fleet of 50-year-old Alouette III helicopters. (Reporting by Francois Murphy, editing by Louise Heavens).
The AW169M – the military version of the AW169 - is the new light intermediate twin-engine helicopter. Its cockpit’s ergonomic design reduces pilot workload while maximising external visibility, allowing the crew to concentrate on achieving mission objectives. The unobstructed cabin interior enables rapid configuration changes to suit operational requirements. Optional ballistic protection for cockpit and cabin, self-sealing tanks and defensive aids suite ensure high levels of survivability and crashworthiness. The platform can be customised with a large range of equipment, sensor and weapon systems to provide mission flexibility to military operators.