Italy’s Guardia di Finanza (GdF) – the police force responsible for economic and financial matters, as well as maritime policing – received delivery of a new Leonardo AW169M twin-engine helicopter with skids.
The handover took place at Leonardo’s Vergiate facility, in the presence of officials from both Leonardo and the GdF. The aircraft is part of a delivery of 24 units of this type due for delivery by 2024 – six of which will have conventional landing gear, while the remainder will be fitted with skids.
The new fleet will complement GdF’s existing set of 20 AW139 helicopters. The AW169Ms will be used for a range of tasks, including maritime policing and patrol, homeland customs security, search and rescue, general law enforcement, and other security duties.
The GdF received its first AW169M in late 2019. All aircraft of this type delivered to the law enforcement agency feature a dedicated configuration, which includes a rescue hoist; emergency floatation system and life rafts; wire cutters; traffic collision avoidance systems (TCAS II); night vision goggle (NVG) compatibility; helicopter terrain awareness warning systems (HTAWS); advanced communication systems; advanced health usage monitoring systems (HUMS); a searchlight; an ice detector; satellite communications; a mobile phone detector; hyperspectral detection; and a reconnaissance system.
The latest delivery introduces unique instrument flight rules (IFR), single pilot, and advanced search and rescue (SAR) modes with dedicated flight management system (FMS) search patterns, enabling the aircraft to automatically fly along a predefined search path.
Elsewhere, the Irish police were allocated €21.5 million to procure a new helicopter and fixed-wing plane earlier this month.