Poland took delivery of two AW149 helicopters for its ground forces on October 30, hailing the military rotorcraft project that is also underway to meet the UK’s requirement for a new medium helicopter.
The UK MoD said it would invest in a new medium-lift helicopter to replace helicopters including the Puma HC2 and 412 Griffin with the publication of its ‘Defence in a Competitive Age’ command paper in March 2021 and continued to publish contract announcement in May next year. Leonardo offered the AW149 and faces competition from Airbus Helicopters’ H157M, Boeing’s MH-139 Gray Wolf, Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk.
over the introduction of the AW149 into service in PolandLeonardo Helicopters MD Gian Piero Cutillo remarked that the AW149 represents “a quantum leap forward” in the ability of modern militaries to conduct “real multi-role missions and deployment” as well as their ability to manage their fleets effectively and respond. quickly in emergency situations.
The delivery to Poland was completed 15 months after the contracts were signed on July 1, 2022. Production was completed domestically, under PZL-Świdnik, a long-term local industrial partner of the Polish Armed Services that is wholly owned by Leonardo.
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A multi-role helicopter for military and paramilitary use, the AW149 is a 7t to 8t class aircraft. With a maximum gross weight, the helicopter can reach a hovering height of over 6,000 feet and a maximum cruising speed of 278 km/h with a range of over 920 km. The aircraft’s robust retractable wheeled landing gear allows it to fly over rough terrain and performs ground taxi duties.
The AW149 can carry 18 personnel or 12 fully equipped soldiers in a combat support role. The external load hook with a capacity of 2,720 kg makes it possible to move bulky equipment to and from the battlefield.
The aircraft may be equipped for additional functions such as command and control and medical evacuation. The cabin can accommodate up to six stretchers, four attendants and in-flight medical supplies when used for medical evacuation. Alternatively, the AB149 can be equipped with two workstations and a suite of command, control and communications (C3) equipment for use in command and control missions.
Read the original at Defence247.gr