On 14 November 2023, the first Leonardo RH-119A Koala (civil designation AW119) helicopter with test registration CSX82103 (c/n 15501) destined for the Arma dei Carabinieri (Italian Military Police) made its first flight.
In October 2022, the Arma dei Carabinieri signed a deal with Leonardo Helicopters to acquire twenty RH-119As between 2023 and 2026. The single-engine helicopters will be assembled at Leonardo’s Vergiate facility near Milan.
The Koalas are part of modernisation program and will be used for a variety of intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, environmental monitoring and protection, disaster relief, and firefighting missions from eighteen bases across the country. The helicopters will be equipped with a Garmin G1000H cockpit featuring wide colour screens, synthetic vision, helicopter terrain awareness warning systems, and satellite navigation/moving maps.
The RH-119A will complement the capabilities and wide spectrum of requirements of the Leonardo UH-139D (civil designation AW139) and Leonardo UH-169C (civil designation AW169). In the near future, they will replace the current ageing fleet of AgustaWestland AW109N Nexus and Agusta-Bell AB412SP/HP helicopters.
Credit photo: Oscar Bernardi