Italy's paramilitary police force, Guardia di Finanza, has begun to retire its Nardi NH500 single-engined helicopters from frontline service and is eyeing possible replacement aircraft.

The Guardia di Finanza says the NH-500s are more than 20 years old and have been extensively deployed in coast surveillance and anti-smuggling operations. The Guardia di Finanza operates 61 NH500s, which are deployed for short-range coastal missions, and twin-engined Agusta 109s as well as Agusta Bell 412s and fixed-wing aircraft for long-range patrol and surveillance missions. The Guardia di Finanza is seeking around 40 new single-engined machines.

Proposals have reportedly been received from Agusta and MD Helicopters for their A119 Koalas and MD-500s, respectively.

Source: Flight International