The procurement was disclosed by the country’s Ministry of Defence on 14 April and solidifies the replacement of the army’s Bell AB 205, AB 212 and AB 412 LUHs.
The deal with Leonardo is valued at €337 million and comprises delivery of two helicopters in a commercial basic trainer configuration, as well as approval for the start of development of 15 new multirole configuration helicopters for the Italian Army.
Included in the procurement of the AW169s is a two-year support service from 2022 to 2023 that will guarantee 400 flight hours per helicopter per year.
The development of the multirole version of the AW169 is in its early stages and will likely be similar in scope and capability to the AW169M that AgustaWestland pitched for the US Army.
The AW169M featured a chin-mounted infrared sensor and side-mounted pylons for carrying rocket or machine gun pods.