New AW149 Multirole Helicopters for Polish Armed Forces

PZL-Świdnik is providing 32 new helicopters which will carry out missions including troop transport and air support By DA Staff / 05 Jul 2022
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PZL-Świdnik, the Polish company fully owned by Leonardo, has been awarded a contract by the Polish Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the supply of 32 AW149 multirole helicopters. 

The contract, worth 8.25 billion PLN gross (approximately €1.76 billion), includes logistics, training and simulator packages. 

The logistics package includes a stock of spares and consumable parts, as well as equipment for the ground handling of the helicopters. The training and simulator package includes comprehensive training of pilots and technical personnel and the delivery of a set of advanced simulators and training equipment. 

These new helicopters will carry out missions including troop transport and air support. The equipment of the helicopters will also allow them to be used for casualty evacuation, search and rescue in combat operations and for the transport of goods and supplies.  

Fully meeting the requirements of the Polish Armed Forces, the helicopters’ configuration will also include observation systems, small arms, guided/unguided rockets and missiles and self-defense systems, among others. Depending on the helicopter variant and configuration, the armament can be installed in the cabin or on the helicopter’s external hard points. 

Acting as the prime contractor, PZL-Świdnik will host a local production line for these new helicopters. Leonardo will therefore undertake further investments in its Polish facility in addition to approximately €1 billion already invested since 2010, which has significantly strengthened the competitiveness and the industrial capabilities of PZL-Świdnik. 

This provides an important contribution to the Polish aerospace and defense industry, which will enable domestic production, the establishment of a logistic base and thorough technical support for the Polish MoD’s AW149s, in line with Leonardo and PZL-Świdnik’s commitment to deliver industrial benefits to Poland.    

The AW149, already in service with international operators for a range of applications and under evaluation among many countries, is designed to modernize defense helicopter fleets and replace a range of ageing types in the medium weight category. The AW149 is a latest generation multirole military helicopter designed from the outset to meet the demanding needs of armed forces. The platform can be reconfigured to perform a variety of demanding tasks in the toughest operational conditions. Its advanced equipment, weapons and system technologies, combined with its agility, range/endurance and high power margins, highest levels of safety and survivability, provide defense users with high operational availability, mission effectiveness and cost efficiency of the fleet.

“The contract […] is a continuation of the fulfillment of our promises to Poland regarding Leonardo’s commitment to the development of the local helicopter plants and the Polish supply chain to the benefit of Polish industry,” said Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo. “By strengthening our position in the strategic Polish market, as a supplier of modern defense technology, we are proud to contribute to the constant increase of the security of the Polish nation, and to strengthen the industrial capabilities which are fundamental to the country’s resilience and sovereignty.”

“The state-of-the-art AW149 helicopter represents a quantum leap forward in true multirole mission and growth capability, efficient fleet management and emergency responsiveness for modern armed forces,” said Gian Piero Cutillo, Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters. “The localization of industrial and logistical capabilities for these new helicopters to meet Poland’s needs, leverage the long established and unique capabilities of PZL-Świdnik and its professional skills combined with the outstanding operational capabilities of the AW149 will deliver unparalleled advantages to the country.”     

“With complete capabilities in helicopter design, development, customization and servicing, PZL-Świdnik confirms its leadership and the continuation of its 70-year heritage through the setting of key milestones for our aviation industry,” said Jacek Libucha, President of PZL-Świdnik. “I know PZL-Świdnik’s helicopters and their great capabilities well as a former military officer with experience in country and abroad. Being today on the industrial side of this experience, serving the present and future generation of soldiers as a manufacturer, I have an even greater sense of fulfillment of my duties. I am convinced that the AW149 will meet the Armed Forces’ high-end needs.

Deliveries of the helicopters will be made in the 2023-2029 period. 

Posted by DA Staff Connect & Contact
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