Polish Land Forces take delivery of their first AW149 helicopters

Tomaszów Mazowiecki,  31 October 2023 12:09

The Polish Land Forces has taken delivery of their first two AW149 helicopters during a ceremony held at the 25th Air Cavalry Brigade in Tomaszów Mazowiecki yesterday, where they are entering service 15 months after the contract signing.

The new Polish military helicopters’ configuration allows combat support missions among others. Fully meeting the requirements of the Polish Armed Forces, the configuration will also include, among other capabilities, observation systems, small arms, guided/unguided rockets and missiles and self-defence systems. The armament, depending on the helicopter variant and configuration, is installed in the cabin or on the helicopter's external hard points.

The delivery follows the contract announced on 1st July 2022 including 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. 

The Polish MoD’s programme is based on localized production through PZL-Świdnik, which is the prime contractor also covering the integration of the helicopter's systems and dedicated armament. Thanks to local production, Poland gains not only state-of-the-art helicopters, but also a domestic logistics base and technical facilities located close to the Polish Land Forces. This delivery marks the quick reaction of PZL-Świdnik as contractor and local industrial partner of Polish Armed Forces for many decades. PZL-Świdnik, the Polish company fully owned by Leonardo, will also deliver support services for these helicopters and modernize them in accordance with the future needs of the operator.

Gian Piero Cutillo, Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters, said: “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. The localisation 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.”     

Jacek Libucha, President of PZL-Świdnik said: “With complete capabilities in helicopter design, development, customisation and servicing, PZL-Świdnik confirmed again its leadership and the continuation of its over 70-year heritage through the setting of key milestones for Polish aviation industry. As a former military officer with experience in country and through international missions, I have an even greater sense of fulfillment of my duties leading PZL-Świdnik now. I am convinced that the AW149 will meet the Armed Forces’ high-end needs and those helicopters will provide them the best in class combat support. This is what the platform has been designed for.”

Note to the editors on the AW149 

The AW149, already in service with international operators for a range of applications and under evaluation among various countries, is ideally suited to modernise defence 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 most demanding needs of armed forces. The platform can be reconfigured to perform a wide variety of demanding tasks in the toughest operational conditions. The AW149’s advanced equipment, weapons and system technologies, combined with its agility, range/endurance and high power margins, highest levels of safety and survivability, provide defence users with high operational availability, mission effectiveness and cost efficiency of the fleet.