Aerial Warfare

Nepalese Army Air Wing Orders Polish PZL M28 Block 5 Skytruck Light Transport Aircraft

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Nepalese Army Air Wing Orders Polish PZL M28 Block 5 Skytruck Light Transport Aircraft

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Polish Air Force PZL M28 Skytruck Light Transport Aircraft
Polish Air Force PZL M28 Skytruck Light Transport Aircraft

Aerospace manufacturer Polish PZL Mielec has won $30.4 million to provide M28 Block 05 Skytruck light transport aircraft to Nepalese Army Air Wing. Work will be performed in Mielec, Poland, and is expected to be complete by April 30, 2025. This contract provides for two new, commercially produced M28 Block 05 aircraft, associated aircraft training, spares package, medical equipment, six months of field service representative services, and ferry flight service for the M28 Block 05 aircraft from Mielec, Poland, to Kathmandu, Nepal. The aircraft were ordered under a U.S. Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program.

The M28 Skytruck is capable of High-altitude Short Take-off and Landing (STOL), and is ideal for Nepal’s high altitude short runways, as it only requires less than 500m of runway length.The aircraft were procured to replace the sole M28 previously operated by the Nepalese Army Air Wing, which was donated by the Polish Air Force in 2004 and crashed in 2017. Nepal had around four M28 aircraft- two each delivered in 2001 and 2019. Of these, one of them crashed in May 2017, resulting in the death of a crewmember. Interest in marketing the M28 Skytruck has increased after Lockheed Martin acquired Sikorsky, which owns the PZL Mielec factory in Poland.

Polish Air Force PZL M28 Skytruck Light Transport Aircraft
Polish Air Force PZL M28 Skytruck Light Transport Aircraft. (Photo by PZL Mielec)

The PZL M28 Skytruck is a Polish STOL light cargo and passenger plane, produced by PZL Mielec, as a development of licence-built Antonov An-28s. The M28 is a twin-engined high-wing strutted monoplane with an all-metal airframe, twin vertical fins and a tricycle fixed landing gear. If an engine fails, a spoiler forward of the aileron opens automatically on the opposite wing. M28 multi-mission aircraft can be deployed in troop and cargo transport, med-evac, maritime patrol and reconnaissance missions. Skytruck can also be used to airdrop equipment or small infiltration teams.

PZL M28 05 Skytruck is a maritime patrol and SAR variant for the Polish Border Guard, of 2006 (equipped with Search and Surveillance Radar ARS-400M and FLIR system). Interest in marketing the PZL M28 05 Skytruck has increased after Lockheed Martin acquired Sikorsky, which owns the PZL Mielec factory in Poland. Aside from the M28, PZL Mielec also manufactures the Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk. PZL Mielec, formerly WSK-Mielec and WSK “PZL-Mielec” is a Polish aerospace manufacturer based in Mielec. It is the largest aerospace manufacturer in postwar Poland. In 2007, it was acquired by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, which retained the brand name.

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