PZL-Swidnik, the Polish company fully owned by Leonardo, has been awarded a contract by the Polish Ministry of Defence (MoD) worth 8.25 billion PLN gross (approximately EUR 1.76 billion) for the supply of 32 AW149 multirole helicopters. The contract was announced today during an official ceremony held at PZL-Swidnik’s facility today, in the presence of representatives of the Polish Government. Acting as the prime contractor, PZL-Swidnik will host a local production line for these new helicopters. Leonardo will therefore undertake further investments in its Polish facility in addition to approximately 1 billion EUR already invested since 2010, which has significantly strengthened the competitiveness and the industrial capabilities of PZL-Swidnik. This provides an important contribution to the Polish aerospace and defence industry, which will enable domestic production, the establishment of a logistic base and thorough technical support for the Polish MoD’s AW149s, in line with Leonardo and PZL-?Swidnik’s commitment to deliver industrial benefits to Poland.
In addition, the contract includes 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 new helicopters will carry out missions including troop transport and air support. The equipment of the helicopters will also allow them to be used for casualty evacuation, search and rescue in combat operations and for the transport of goods and supplies. The helicopters’ configuration, fully meeting the requirements of the Polish Armed Forces, will also include, among others, observation systems, small arms, guided/unguided rockets and missiles and self-defence systems. The armament, depending on the helicopter variant and configuration, can be installed in the cabin or on the helicopter’s external hard points. The deliveries of the helicopters will be made in the 2023-2029 period.
Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo, said: “The contract signed today is a continuation of the fulfillment of our promises to Poland regarding Leonardo’s commitment to the development of the local helicopter plants and the Polish supply chain to the benefit of Polish industry.”
Jacek Libucha, President of PZL-Swidnik said: “With complete capabilities in helicopter design, development, customisation and servicing, PZL-Swidnik confirms its leadership and the continuation of its 70-year heritage through the setting of key milestones for our aviation industry. I know PZL-Swidnik’s helicopters and their great capabilities well as a former military officer with experience in country and abroad.”
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 AgustaWestland AW149 is a medium-lift multi-role military helicopter developed by AgustaWestland, now Leonardo, launched in 2006. On 20 June 2011 AgustaWestland announced the AW189, a civilian development of the AW149, for service in 2013. The AW149, already in service with international operators for a range of applications and under evaluation among many 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.