PZL Świdnik Leonardo AW.149. 2023r.

Kraków 2022-09-13

PZL Świdnik Leonardo AW.149 for the Polish Army.

AW.149 - helicopter from Świdnik.

On July 1, 2022, at the aviation plant in Świdnik, with the participation of the Vice-President of the Council of Ministers, Minister of National Defense, Mr. Mariusz Błaszczak, a contract was signed for the delivery of AW.149 multi-role support helicopters for the Aviation of the Land Forces. The parties to the contract are the State Treasury - the Armaments Agency and Wytwórnia Urządzeń Komunikacyjnych "PZL-Świdnik" S.A. The subject of the contract is the delivery of 32 AW.149 helicopters with logistic and training packages as well as simulators. The logistics package includes a stock of spare and consumable parts as well as equipment for the maintenance of helicopters. The remaining package includes comprehensive training of pilots and ground personnel, and the supply of a suite of advanced simulators and training equipment. The contract value is PLN 8.25 billion gross, and the deliveries will be made in the period 2023 - 2029.

AW.149. 2022 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
AW.149. 2022 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

AW.149. 2022 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
AW.149. 2022 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

AW.149. 2022 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
AW.149. 2022 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

What is AW.149 from Świdnik for the Polish Army?

The new AW.149 helicopter does not replace the specific type of helicopters used so far in the Polish Army. This is a completely new level of military helicopter aviation. The AW.149 helicopter is a completely new construction, therefore it brings a new opportunity, but also the risk that it will not cope with the defense needs of the Republic of Poland. The upside is that the AW.149 design is adapted to Polish requirements.

The maximum take-off weight of the AW.149 helicopter is 8,600 kg. The maximum speed of the helicopter is 313 km / h and the cruising speed is 287 km / h. The maximum range is 500 nm (926 km) and the maximum flight duration is 4 hours and 55 minutes.

The AW.149 helicopter is a multi-role military helicopter capable of performing VFR / IFR (Visual Flight Rules / Instrumental Fligth Rules) flights during the day and at night and in NVC (Night Vision Conditions).

The helicopter has two positions for pilots, but the tasks can be carried out by one pilot. The helicopter is designed for day and night flights, and its glass cockpit is compatible with night vision goggles (NVG) and requires little effort. The helicopter can take 19 people to the hold. The AW149 ensures a high level of safety for the crew. High ballistic tolerance, crash-resistant hull and seats, heavy-duty undercarriage, self-sealing fuel tanks, fully integrated defensive aids and additional armor. Access to the hold is provided by sliding doors on both sides with a very large clearance.

The Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland ordered a helicopter AW.149 very richly equipped: observation systems, small arms, guided and unguided missiles to counter ground and surface targets, passive and active defense systems. Weapons will be configured depending on the mission set for the crew and their helicopter. The armament can be mounted on suspensions located on the outriggers or inside the helicopter. Helicopters can be used in SAR and CSAR missions, as well as during natural disasters. The machine is suitable for evacuation, search and rescue, goods and supplies transportation. It can perform close air support, armed escort, command and control (C2) and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). The helicopter is to operate in a demanding and difficult environment, in unfavorable weather conditions, at long distances, in an optimally short time. The helicopter is to ensure high efficiency, low failure rate and survival ability, combining advanced technologies. The AW.149 was designed with multiple missions in mind, the AW.149 was designed with multiple missions in mind, with easy reconfiguration of the cargo hold.

It is true that since 2010, the plant in Świdnik belongs to the Leonardo Helicopters concern, but it is located in Poland and is an important factory in the concern. It should also be remembered that the Leonardo holding company still cooperates with the American company Bell.

It should be believed that the AW.149 helicopters in the Polish Army will confirm their values ​​and have good debt in service.

Data T-T AW.149:

Overall length 17.57 m. Hull length 14.60 m. Fuselage width 3.02 m, height 5.14 m. Main rotor diameter 14.60 m. Take-off weight 8,600 kg. Top speed 313 km / h. Cruising speed 278 km / h. Rate of climb 9.9 m / s. Service ceiling: 15,000 ft. Hovering ceiling with ground effect: 1,830 m. Range 500 nmi (926 km). Duration of flight 4 hours 55 minutes.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman