January 17 2019
The Austrian government has approved the potential purchase of 15 additional helicopters for the armed forces, reports Flight Global.
Vienna has allocated more than US$343 million (300 million euros) to acquire 12 multirole helicopters to replace 21 aging Aerospatiale Alouette IIs, which are set to retire in 2023, and three additional Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopters.
The acquisition will support emergency services in disaster-relief operations, said Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
Plans call for buying the aircraft through a government-to-government deal. The Black Hawks could enter service as soon as 2020 if negotiations are completed quickly, the defense ministry said.
The ministry has yet to issue a request for proposals for the light helicopters and no timeline has been set. Deliveries are anticipated about two years after contract signature. Potential competitors include the Bell 429, Leonardo AW109 and Airbus H145M, reported Reuters earlier this month.
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