Austrian Defence Minister Klaudia Tanner announced plans to order 18 AW169M helicopters for €300 million.
The new rotorcraft will replace Austria’s fleet of five decades-old Alouette III helicopters. The choppers will be retired by the end of 2023, Austrian Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
Italian firm Leonardo beat competitors from the United States and Germany to bag the deal, the minister said Monday.
The AW169M aircraft can be used to perform a range of roles including patrol and reconnaissance, law enforcement, rescue and homeland security. It 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 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).