Poland receives first AW101 anti-submarine helicopter
The AW101 Merlin helicopters will now undergo final tests and acceptances at the PZL Świdnik (a fully owned subsidiary of Leonardo) plant before final transfer to the Polish Navy.
In April 2019, Poland signed a contract for four AW101 helicopters for $430 million.
Originally, the Polish Navy planned to acquire eight AW101s to replace its ageing Mi-14 helicopters currently operated from Darłowo air base. This number was reduced to four in 2018, postponing the purchase of the other four.
These helicopters will be deployed in the Polish Navy, and they will be assigned to anti-submarine roles. However, when purchasing a new platform, Poland sought a multi-role helicopter.
The AW101s are also equipped with combat search and rescue (CSAR) module, which means that they can also perform search and rescue missions.
The AW101 is outfitted with a low-workload, NVG-compatible glass cockpit and fully integrated communications, navigation, avionics and flight and mission management systems.
With the largest cabin in its class, the AW101 is able to carry up to 30 passengers and can be arranged in a variety of configurations to meet customer requirements.
All four helicopters are expected to be delivered by the end of 2023 to the Polish Navy.
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