Italy’s Carabinieri has purchased 20 AW119Kx single engine helicopters for its air service. The aircraft will be assembled at Leonardo’s Vergiate facility in Italy with deliveries expected in the 2023-26 period. The contract also includes a comprehensive turnkey logistics support package and training services for pilots and maintenance technicians.
The delivery of the helicopters will allow the national gendarmerie of Italy to meet its fleet modernisation requirements in order to further strengthen and enhance the security of national communities. This will be made possible by carrying out a range of patrol and reconnaissance tasks over land, identifying critical targets, gathering investigation evidence, as well as supporting ground units’ activities. Other duties include environmental monitoring and protection, and, if asked by Italy's National Disaster Relief Authority, fire-fighting in addition to rescue missions.
The AW119Kx helicopters feature digital technology, which increases operational effectiveness and lowers operating costs. They will be used at the air service’s existing locations, which include 18 bases across the country. Their equipment will allow full interoperability with the Carabinieri’s other assets and cooperation with those of other armed forces and government agencies, both in-country and internationally.
Leonardo managing director Gian Piero Cutillo says: “The introduction of the AW119Kx in the Carabinieri air service’s fleet ideally integrates the capabilities the operator has already chosen, thanks to its AW139s and AW169s. The helicopters respond to the wide spectrum of the air service requirements, considering its national duties and an evolving and increasingly complex operational scenario. We’re proud to continue to support the Carabinieri with capabilities that are able to face new security challenges and benefit national communities.”
The specific characteristics of the AW119Kx and its certification and military standards allow the operator to perform missions over urban areas effectively and safely, due to features such as system redundancies, power margin, external visibility, advanced digital navigation and mission avionics. The latter is based on a Garmin G1000H cockpit featuring wide colour screens, synthetic vision, HTAWS, satellite navigation and moving map. The AW119Kx has a spacious cabin and baggage compartment, and high main rotor clearance for greater safety of personnel. The Carabinieri's AW119Kxs will feature HD EO, cargo hook, mission console with data-link, hyperspectral system for environment monitoring, radio, wire cutter, search light and a Bambi Bucket. Provisions for a floating system, life raft and a snow kit are also included.
The highly versatile AW119Kx features VFR and IFR avionics based on customer choice. This allows greater situational awareness, mission effectiveness and safety. It has a spacious cabin able to host up to six passengers depending on configuration. More than 490 AW119s have been sold to date.