Leonardo Helicopters is to pitch its AW249 attack helicopter currently being designed and developed for the Italian army to Poland for its nascent Kruk procurement programme. The manufacturer has detailed the offer as part of a collaboration agreement with Polish defence firm Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ). Under the Letter of Intent (LoI), Leonardo Helicopters and Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ) will work together in a number of areas such as design, production, final assembly, marketing and aftersales support for the AW249 helicopter.
The AW249 will feature all the latest technology developments in its market segment and will benefit from the extensive operational expertise logged by Leonardo’s AW129 and the know-how of the Company in this specific helicopter sector. In addition to a turreted gun, the AW249 will have a flexible weapon system with six wing store stations that can carry a combination of air-to-ground or air-to-air missiles, unguided/guided rockets or external fuel tanks. Two powerful engines will allow for operations in all environmental conditions (cold, hot & high and maritime).
With a MTOW in the range of 7-8 tonne and useful load in excess of 1800kgs, the AW249 will have speed and endurance that is able to sustain the most difficult close air support and armed escort operations. The AW249 will feature state-of-the-art communication and battlefield management systems; its mission system is able to operate and manage UAVs and features a number of situational awareness aids to reduce pilot workload and increase safety. Additionally, thanks to its advanced technologies and design philosophy, the AW249 will have significant improvements in life-cycle costs over previous generation helicopters.
Leonardo and PGZ have an established dialogue on defence and security industrial cooperation, with multiple agreements signed in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The aim of these agreements is to strengthen cooperation between the PGZ Group and Leonardo, particularly in relation to the helicopters offered by Leonardo to the Polish Ministry of Defence. Should Leonardo be selected by the Polish MoD for the new helicopter requirements, companies in the PGZ Group will take part in the manufacture and servicing of helicopters.