Poland buys 32 military multirole helicopters

Under the contract signed by Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, Poland has purchased a total of 32 multipurpose helicopters mark AW149 produced by the Italian Leonardo armaments group.

“Here in PZL Świdnik, we have signed, once again, a contract related to equipping the Polish Army with helicopters… In 2019, we signed a contract for the purchase of AW101, which will soon make part of the Polish navy. Just a moment ago we have signed a contract pertaining to the AW149 helicopters that will boost Polish land forces,” Mr Błaszczak said during the signing ceremony held in a hangar of the PZL-Świdnik helicopter manufacturer in the town of Świdnik, Poland.

The official stressed that AW149 helicopters enjoyed positive reviews. “The helicopters are produced as part of the Leonardo group and PZL-Świdnik is one of its key manufacturers,” he said, adding that the contract would contribute to the development of PZL Świdnik.

The long and short of it is that the Polish land forces will get modern helicopters and this as early as next year,” Deputy PM Błaszczak said, adding that the swift delivery of the first machines was extremely important in the context of the current international situation, that is, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as the proximity of the conflict to Poland. With this in mind, Polish authorities made a leaping decision to “accelerate the process of the modernisation of the Polish Army.” “The contract is worth PLN 8.250 bn [EUR 1.75 bn] and covers 32 AW149, in other words, two helicopter squadrons,” the official said, adding that under the contract Poland had also purchased logistics and training packages, including simulators.

In the forerun to the press conference in Świdnik, Deputy PM and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak met with Il Sung, the South Korean deputy minister responsible for the planning of military equipment trade, in Warsaw. “The modernisation of the Polish Army and the reinforcement of our military cooperation, including Polish-South Korean collaboration in the armaments sector, are the main topics of the conversation between [Deputy PM] Mariusz Błaszczak and South Korean deputy minister responsible for the planning of military equipment trade Mr Il Sung,” Poland’s Defence Ministry tweeted.