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Poland buys 32 AW149 helicopters from Leonardo for 8.25 billion zlotys

TVN24 | TVN24 News in English

TVN24 News in English, Reuters, PAP,

Poland has signed a contract worth 8.25 billion zlotys ($1.83 billion) for the purchase of 32 AW149 helicopters built by the Italian company Leonardo, the Polish defence minister said on Friday. The helicopters will be built by PZL Świdnik, which belongs to Leonardo.

"The contract is worth 8.25 billion zlotys. It concerns 32 AW149 helicopters, so two squadrons, and the first helicopters will go to the Polish army next year," Mariusz Błaszczak said.

He also informed that as part of the contract, Poland will also receive logistics and training packages, including simulators.

The helicopters will be built by PZL Świdnik, which belongs to Leonardo.

"We are proud to contribute to the constant increase of the security of the Polish nation, and to strengthen the industrial capabilities which are fundamental to the country's resilience and sovereignty," Leonardo Chief Executive Alessandro Profumo said in a statement.

He added that AW149 were being positively revied. "These helicopters are being built by the Leonardo group, and PZL Świdnik is one of the leading manufacturers of said group," the minister said, adding that the deal was a great chance for the Świdnik company to grow.

In the face of the war in Ukraine, Poland is modernizing its armed forces and, from next year, wants to spend over 3% of gross domestic product on defence.

"The first AW149 helicopters will be used by the Polish Army next year. This is very important, especially in the context of the war that is going on beyond our eastern border. We are accelerating the modernization of Polish Armed Forces," Poland's Defence Ministry quoted Błaszczak as saying in a tweet.

Multi-mission military helicopter

"The AW149 is a latest-generation medium multi-mission military helicopter that delivers the highly effective and survivable capability required by today’s armed forces, combining advanced technologies, equipment and weapons with unparalleled safety and performance characteristics," Leonardo said at its website.

The company also said the helicopter "is designed for a multitude of missions such as troop transport; re-supply/external load lift; medical and casualty evacuation; Search and Rescue (SAR) and Combat Search and Rescue; special forces operations; close air support/armed escort; Command and Control C2); and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)".

Furthermore, Leonardo praised the AW149 for being able to ensure "unparalleled crew safety".


Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Reuters, PAP,

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