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Austrian AW169M procurement progresses

7th December 2021 - 09:18 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Austrian Defence Minister Klaudia Tanner and her Italian opposite number Lorenzo Guerini, after signing a deal to procure 18 AW169M multirole helicopters. (Photo: Austrian MoD)

A government-to-government deal for multirole helicopters between Austria and Italy marks a milestone in cooperation between the two countries.

The Austrian government on 4 December announced it has signed an ‘administrative agreement’ with Italy to procure AW169M helicopters from Leonardo.

A government-to-government deal was signed on 2 December between Austrian defence minister Klaudia Tanner and her Italian counterpart Lorenzo Guernini.

Shephard reported in September 2020 that a total of 18 aircraft will be bought for €300 million ($349 million), with the AW169M emerging ahead of the Bell 429 and Airbus H145M.

The new AW169M fleet will replace an ageing fleet of 21 Aerospatiale Alouette IIIs that are being retired by 2023.

‘The important thing about this administrative agreement with Italy is the cooperation beyond the field of procurement,’ Tanner said. ‘By this I mean, for example, training, logistics, material preservation and the possibility of sharing simulators.’

Austro-Italian cooperation will enable bespoke training on the multirole AW169M, starting in early 2022.

The first pair of AW169Ms is expected to arrive by the end of 2022.

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