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Polish Navy’s AW101 takes first flight

20th July 2021 - 16:39 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The versatility of the AW101 platform permits customers to configure the helicopter for a wide range of primary and secondary roles. (Image: Leonardo)

Leonardo’s AW101 for the Polish Navy takes the first flight to test its main airframe, control system and engine handling.

Leonardo celebrates as the Polish Navy’s first AW101 flies for the first time from the company’s site in Yeovil on 19 July 2021.

The flight demonstrated functional checks of the main airframe systems as well as the control system. Engine-handling checks were taken through to monitor the speed range of the aircraft.

There are more tests exploring the bespoke mission equipment fitted to the aircraft.

The AW101 will perform a range of missions for the Polish Naval Aviation Brigade including ASW and CSAR.

It will be equipped with the most modern mission systems, including autopilot with SAR modes, data transmission system, tactical navigation system and protection and defence systems both passive and active.

The AW101 features a tactical radio, reconnaissance radar, an observation head (FLIR), an S-mode transponder and a 12.7mm machine gun.

According to Shephard Defence Insight, Poland signed a deal to procure four AW101 helicopters with four options for CSAR and ASW missions in April 2019.

The helicopters are expected to replace the country’s Mi-14 ‘Haze’ ASW helicopters and SH-2G Super Seasprites in service with the Navy. The contract is valued at $430 million.

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