Showing posts with label AW149. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AW149. Show all posts

04 July, 2022

Poland to buy 32 Leonardo helicopters

The Polish defence minister confirmed last week the country had agreed to purchase 32 AW149 helicopters from the Italian manufacturer Leonardo in a deal said to be worth US$1.83 billion.  

Mariusz Blaszczak said: "The contract... concerns 32 AW149 helicopters, so two squadrons and the first helicopters will go to the Polish army next year," and will be completed by 2029. 

A major part of the deal agreement sees the helicopters being built by Leonardo's Polish unit PZL Swidnik, with the whole deal encompassing logistics, training and simulator packages.  

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Poland, like many other nations in the region are rapidly increasing and modernising their air forces and military infrastructure. Poland is understood to be spending 3.4% of its GDP on defence this year and next as it seeks to completely modernise. 

According to the authorities, these new helicopters will be used for various functions including rapid troop deployment, air support, equipment transportation and casualty evacuation. In addition, in peacetime, the aircraft would also be used for search and rescue missions.

Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo said:  "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,"

Flexible and effective
The AW149 blends performance, lower life-cycle costs, and day/night all-weather capability in a single platform. The large, rapidly reconfigurable cabin can accommodate a wide range of role equipment and weapon systems to enhance operational effectiveness and survivability in the battlespace.

Optimised for multiple missions
The AW149 is designed for a multitude of missions such as troop transport; re-supply/external load lift; medical and casualty evacuation; Search and Rescue (SAR) and Combat Search and Rescue; special forces operations; close air support/armed escort; Command and Control C2); and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR).

Outstanding technology
The advanced open architecture mission system enables the quick and effective integration of mission-specific and customer-specific equipment, avionics, weapons and defence systems. The helicopter is day/night capable with a single pilot Night Vision Goggle (NVG) compatible, low workload glass cockpit.

Built-in safety and survivability
The AW149 ensures unparalleled crew safety. Contributing to its superior battle survivability are high levels of ballistic tolerance, crashworthy fuselage and seats, heavy duty landing gear, self-sealing fuel tanks, a fully integrated defensive aids suite along with additional armour protection.

Maximum cabin flexibility
The spacious, unobstructed cabin and large sliding doors on both sides enable the rapid transport of heavily laden troops and the efficient recovery of stretchers on the ground or in flight, while allowing simultaneous cover fire from window-mounted machine guns. A large equipment stowage area for stretchers and medical kit can be accessed optionally from the cabin.