The Italian Guardia di Finanza (GdF – the country’s Customs Police Air Service) has placed an order for 22 new AW169M helicopters from Leonardo. According to the manufacturer, the AW169Ms will be delivered in a dedicated configuration together with a support and training package valued at €280m. Deliveries are scheduled to take place between summer 2019 and 2024.
The new AW169M twin-engine rotorcraft will complement a fleet of 14 AW139s and will be used for perform patrol and reconnaissance, law enforcement, rescue and homeland security missions.
The initial support and training package could be further extended with optional services valued at an additional €100m.
Currently, the GdF has six AW139 intermediate twins in service and the remaining eight are due to be delivered in 2019.
Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo CEO, said: “This contract will allow us to deliver the Guardia di Finanza a new-generation helicopter with the best technologies available, to perform missions which are getting more and more complex and challenging. Our ability to provide state-of-the-art products to meet the requirements of Italian government agencies and armed forces, for the security of our nation, is the result of Leonardo’s leading edge technology and innovation.”
The GdF AW169Ms will receive a military qualification from the Italian Directorate of Air Armaments (ARMAEREO) and will feature a dedicated configuration including rescue hoist, emergency floatation system and life rafts, wire cutters, Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS II), a cockpit compatible with night-vision goggles, Helicopter Terrain Awareness Warning System (HTAWS), advanced communication system, Obstacle Proximity Lidar System (OPLS), advanced Health Usage Monitoring System (HUMS), Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) with search-and-rescue modes, searchlight, ice detector, fast roping and satcom.
The aircraft will be also fitted with a range of Leonardo systems such as the Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance (RW ATOS) system with advanced operator console, Gabbiano radar, Long Range Electro-Optical Surveillance System (LEOSS), M428 IFF transponder, V/UHF radio systems cockpit panels and lighting and provisions for the Smart Processing Hyperspectral Detection and Reconnaissance System (SPHYDER).