BAN's World GazetteerItaly
Italy's Guardia di Finanza has taken delivery of the first of 22 latest-generation AW169M light intermediate twin engine helicopters from Leonardo. The handover event was held at Leonardo's Vergiate plant on 12 November.
The initial delivery is linked to a contract worth €280 million, which was signed at the end of 2018, and includes a complete support and training package that could be extended in the future for further services with an additional value of €100 million. The AW169Ms will be used for various tasks including maritime police/patrol, homeland customs security, law enforcement, rescue and other security duties. The delivery of all aircraft is expected to be completed by 2024, complementing a fleet of 14 AW139 intermediate twin helicopters.
The AW169M is the government variant of the AW169, the future generation helicopter programme developed by Leonardo. To date there are more than 90 operative AW169s worldwide and orders for the helicopter, from more than 80 customers in 30 different countries, exceed 200 units. In Italy the AW169 has already proven successful among various operators for EMS duties across the country. There are also various applications for which this helicopter is used, particularly VIP/corporate transport, search and rescue activities and government and law enforcement services.
The AW169M obtained military certification from ARMAEREO (Italian Directorate Air Armaments) in September 2019. The aircraft of Guardia di Finanza will feature a dedicated configuration including a rescue hoist, an emergency flotation system and life rafts, wire cutters, TCAS II, a NVG compatible cockpit, HTAWS, an advanced communication system, Obstacle Proximity Lidar System, advanced HUMS, Automatic Flight Control System with SAR modes, a searchlight, an ice detector, fast roping, satcom, and provisions for a hyperspectral detection and reconnaissance system.