Polish Land Forces Receive its First AW149 Helicopters
Poland, to modernise its medium-sized helicopter fleet, signed a contract with Italian Leonardo in 2022 to acquire AW149 8.3 tons multirole helicopters. AW149 helicopters will replace Mil Mi-2 ‘Hoplite' and some PZL-Swidnik W-3PL Głuszec rotorcraft. Polish Army's 25th Air Cavalry Brigade will operate helicopters. The agreement includes logistics packages, technical support and simulator systems.
One of the delivered AW149 helicopters, Poland’s helicopter manufacturer PZL-Świdnik, participates in local helicopter production.
AW149 is a militarised version of the AW139 medium-sized helicopter, having the distinction of a larger fuselage and provision for weapon systems, EO/IR systems and defensive measures like missile warning systems. The rotorcraft has a maximum take-off weight of 8.3 and a capacity for up to 19 passengers.
The configuration for Poland includes two General Electric CT-7-2E1 turboshaft engines, door-mounted machine guns and two pylons for guided/unguided rockets or AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles.