Aerial Warfare

Leonardo Awarded Republic of North Macedonia Contract for Military Helicopters

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Leonardo Awarded Republic of North Macedonia Contract for Military Helicopters

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Leonardo Awarded Republic of North Macedonia Contract for Military Helicopters
Leonardo Awarded Republic of North Macedonia Contract for Military Helicopters

The North Macedonia Minister of Defence Slavjanka Petrovska explained the decision to purchase eight new multipurpose helicopters of the type AW149 and AW169M for the Republic of North Macedonia Army from the world-famous and renowned company “Leonardo” at a briefing with media representatives. Minister Petrovska emphasized that the recommendation for the procurement of these helicopters was made by the Integrated Project Team composed of experts in the Ministry of Defence and the Army, which has been working since 2019. During this period, the IPT team held numerous working meetings and visits to the companies – candidates for the procurement of the new helicopter platforms, during which demonstration flights with the potential new helicopters were also performed.

“A comprehensive and objective analysis of all alternatives was carried out through a large number of matrices and an established methodology, which included the tactical and technical performance of the helicopters, equipment with systems conducting necessary missions, the maintenance system, prices, trainings, future perspective and other”, said Petrovska.

“With the purchase of the new helicopters, there will be a significant modernization of the aviation component and an increase in the capabilities to perform missions both for the needs of the Army and for the support of other civil institutions of our country. Investing in the Army is investing in the future of our country, and that’s why we will continue with this intensity”, said Minister Petrovska.

Leonardo AW149 medium-lift multi-role military helicopter
Leonardo AW149 medium-lift multi-role military helicopter. (Photo by Leonardo)

The minister added that in parallel with this purchase, and as part of a whole, the Ministry of Defence is also working on improving the situation with the personnel who will continue to fly and maintain these helicopters. The representatives of the media were introduced to the characteristics of the AW149 and AW169M helicopters, as well as the reasons why these helicopters were considered as the most suitable for the Macedonian Army, by the Deputy Commander of the Air VING, Colonel Igor Chkorov. The purchase will begin after the signing of the Government-to-Government (G2G) agreement between the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Italy, which will be signed these days.

This purchase, in addition to the 4 AW149 and 4 AW169M helicopters, also includes a logistics support package – equipment that meets the operational requirements for performing specific missions; a set of spare parts and consumables, special tools, test equipment for both helicopters; simulator and construction of a modern infrastructural facility and complete training of the flight and technical personnel. The AgustaWestland AW149 is a medium-lift multi-role military helicopter developed by Leonardo, launched in 2006. The AgustaWestland AW169M is a twin-engine, 10-seat, 4.8t helicopter developed and manufactured by the helicopter division of Leonardo. The helicopters are expected to arrive between the second half of 2026 and the end of 2028.

Italian Army AW169 Light Utility Helicopter
Leonardo AW169 Light Utility Helicopter. (Photo by Leonardo)

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