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Poland receives first two AW149 helicopters

31st October 2023 - 10:04 GMT | by Norbert Neumann in London


Poland signed a US$2 billion deal for 32 AW149 helicopters in June 2022. (Photo: Polish MoD)

This acquisition was the result of a signed US$2 billion contract for 32 AW149 helicopters announced in mid-June 2022.

The Polish Army Airborne Forces has taken delivery of the first two Leonardo AW149 multirole helicopters.

PZL – Świdnik (a Leonardo company) and the Eastern European country first announced the signed US$2 billion contract for 32 AW149 helicopters in mid-June 2022. Deliveries have been scheduled from this year through to 2029.

Along with the helicopters, Poland will receive corresponding logistics, training packages and simulators under the contract. The logistics package included a stock of spare parts, consumables and equipment for ground support of the AW149S. The training-simulator package included comprehensive training of pilots and technical personnel, as well as delivery of a set of simulators and training equipment.

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Within the Polish Army, the newly acquired AW149s will fulfil duel roles, serving for troop transportation and subdivision air support missions. The helicopters have also been equipped to support combat evacuation, conduct search and rescue operations, and facilitate the transportation of goods and supplies. The multirole helicopters will also have combat capabilities and will be armed with Hellfire missiles.

The 8t AW149 has also been considered a strong candidate to receive a New Medium Helicopter production contract when the UK eventually selects an aircraft to replace the RAF Puma HC2 fleet, as well as the Army Air Corps Bell 212s, RAF Bell 412s and SOF Airbus AS365 Dauphins.

The UK has committed to acquiring between 36 and 44 aircraft – a number that has likely been capped at 35 – for the acquisition with other aircraft in the running, including the Airbus H175M and the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk.

Poland's Armament Agency (AA) launched a tender for the procurement of S-70i Black Hawk helicopters for the country's army in July this year. The agency did not reveal the number of rotorcrafts it was looking to purchase, but a few days before the announcement, representatives of Polish PZL Mielec, a Lockheed Martin company, told Shephard they hoped to sign a contract for 32 helicopters.

Additionally, the US has recently greenlit an approximately $12 billion FMS deal of 96 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for the Polish Armed Forces. 

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Norbert Neumann


Norbert Neumann

Norbert is the Aviation, Military Training & Simulation reporter at Shephard Media. Before joining Shephard in …

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