W-3PL GÅ‚uszec (Capercaillie), a multipurpose combat variant of W-3 SokÃ³Å‚ helicopter, is in service with the Polish Land Forces. It is designed and manufactured by PZL-Swidnik, a subsidiary of Leonardo Helicopter, in co-operation with the Polish Armed Forces and the Air Force Institute of Technology. W-3PL Multipurpose Combat Helicopter is designed for troop transportation (2 pilots + 10 pax), destroying moving and stationary armored targets and enemy troops, C-SAR missions in various weather conditions during day and night. W-3PL Multipurpose Combat Helicopter is a result of experience of Polish Air Brigade gained in combat missions in Iraq as well as experience of PZL-Åšwidnik in integration of various systems.
The night vision goggles (NVG) compatible, armoured cockpit of the GÅ‚uszec combat helicopter is designed for single-pilot or two-pilot operations. A four-axis autopilot simplifies the operation and reduces the crew workload. The cockpit is equipped with multi-function displays and head-up displays to present flight data to the operators. The cabin is fitted with two large sliding doors for cargo loading and unloading. For search-and-rescue missions, the cabin can house up to four stretchers, medical equipment, a 272kg rescue hoist, 2,100kg cargo hook, and searchlight. Avionic systems aboard the helicopter include inertial navigation system (INS), global positioning system (GPS), digital map, tactical air navigation system (TACAN), instrument landing system (ILS), VHF omni-directional range (VOR), laser range finder, marker beacon (MB) receiver, and FLIR camera.
The armament of the GÅ‚uszec Combat helicopters includes remote-controlled gun turret, armed with a 12.7mm HMGWKM-Bm machine gun, rocket launchers, a mine laying system and 23mm cannon in dispenser. The onboard self-protection systems such as radar warning receiver (RWR), flare dispensers, identification, friend or foe (IFF), and infrared (IR) warning receiver to improve the helicopter’s ability to detect and engage threats in complex radar environments. A neutral gas is used in the fuel tanks to help reduce the risk of explosion. The helicopter is also fitted with a wire strike protection system.
The W-3PL GÅ‚uszec combat helicopter is fitted with four-bladed main and three-bladed tail composite rotors. The helicopter is 18.79m-long, 1.75m-wide and 4.2m-high, and can accommodate two crew and 12 passengers. Its main and tail rotor diameters are 15.7m and 3.03m respectively. Powered by two PZL-10W turboshaft engines, the combat helicopter can achieve a maximum cruise speed of 235km/h and a never-exceed speed of 260km/h. Each engine generates a maximum continuous power of 574kW and a take-off power of 662kW. The engine performance is controlled using a full-authority digital engine control (FADEC) system. The W-3PL GÅ‚uszec can operate up to a distance of 734km using 1,720l of standard fuel and the range can be increased to 1,180km with an auxiliary fuel capacity of 730l. It can stay airborne for up to 252 minutes.