Italy’s Guardia di Finanza law-enforcement body has received its first of an eventual six skid-equipped Leonardo Helicopters AW169Ms.
Handed over at a ceremony held at the airframer’s Vergiate production line in northern Italy, the medium-twin will form part of a 24-strong fleet of AW169Ms: six with skids and 18 with wheeled landing gear, the initial example of which arrived in 2019.
Deliveries are scheduled to run until 2024, Leonardo Helicopters says, and will complement a fleet of 20 AW139 intermediate-twins.
The AW169Ms are used for a variety of missions, including maritime patrol, customs and border monitoring, law enforcement, search and rescue (SAR), and other security duties.
Leanardo Helicopters says the latest helicopter features advanced automated modes enabling single-pilot SAR operations in instrument flight rules conditions.
Italy is a major customer for the military M-model variant of the 4.8t AW169, with the type also operated by its army and Carabinieri.