Poland buys 32 AW149 helicopters from Italy’s Leonardo

Poland has signed a contract worth 8.25 billion zlotys ($1.83 billion) to buy 32 AW149 helicopters from Italian defense group Leonardo, the Polish defence minister said on Friday.

The multi-role helicopters will be built by Leonardo’s Polish unit PZL Swidnik, and the contract includes logistics, training and simulator packages. They will be delivered between 2023 and 2029, Leonardo said in a statement. Poland will induct AW149 helicopters into it’s army.

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In the face of the war in Ukraine, Poland is modernizing its armed forces, and from next year wants to spend over 3% of gross domestic product on defence.

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

“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,” Leonardo Chief Executive Alessandro Profumo said in the statement.

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AW149 is a medium lift twin-engine multi-role helicopter designed to conduct multiple missions including 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).

AW149 Cockpit
AW149 Cockpit

The AW149 helicopter is day/night capable with a single pilot Night Vision Goggle (NVG) compatible, low workload glass cockpit. AW149 is powered by 2 x General Electric CT7-2E1 Turboshafts with FADEC (2,000 shp class each) and 1 x Safran e-APU (60 kW).

Source: Reuters with additional inputs from GDI Aerospace Wing

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