You can read the news article published in the December 2019 Issue of MSI Turkish Defence Review here:
Guardia di Finanza – a law enforcement agency operating under the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance – took delivery of the first AW169M helicopter to come off the Leonardo production line on 12 November. The delivery followed the certification in September 2019 of the helicopter by ARMAEREO (Italian Directorate Air Armaments) operating under the Italian Ministry of Defence.
Under the €280 million contract signed at the end of 2018, a total of 22 AW169Ms are to be delivered to Guardia di Finanza by the end of 2024. The AW169Ms will be used for maritime patrol, customs security, law enforcement and rescue missions, alongside a 14-strong fleet of Leonardo-made AW139s.
The twin-engine AW169M, which is the military variant of the AW169, has been developed for government agencies, and weighs in at 4.8 tons. The unique transmission system of the helicopter, which distinguishes it from its competitors, provides power to hydraulic, electrical and air conditioning systems with the rotors stopped (APU mode), optimising response times for unexpected missions. The company states that the helicopter offers outstanding power, agility, manoeuvrability and situational awareness.
Guardia di Finanza’s AW169Ms, deliveries of which have begun, feature a dedicated configuration that includes collision avoidance systems, an NVG (Night Vision Goggle)-compatible cockpit, electro-optical surveillance systems and radars.
More than 90 AW169s are in operation worldwide, and Leonardo’s order book currently contains orders for more than 200 AW169s from 80 different users in 30 countries.