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First Polish AW-149 Helicopters Delivered to 25BKPow

Handover of new AW-149 helicopters to soldiers of the Polish Army [© Polish MND: Senior Corporal Wojciech Król]

The first two of 32 AW-149 helicopters were delivered today to the soldiers of the Polish 25th Air Cavalry Brigade (25BKPow) in Nowy Glinnik.

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Press Release, Warsaw, 30 October 2023: [auto-translated] In Nowy Glinnik the head of the Ministry of National Defence handed over the first pair of AW-149 helicopters to soldiers of the 25th Air Cavalry Brigade.

“We are all aware of the threats that Poland faces. There is a war going on behind our eastern border. The Middle East is also a place where there is a war, and there are very strong tensions in the Asian region. All this means that the prospects for the development of the situation in in the international arena are not good. The only effective response to these threats is to strengthen the Polish Army. Therefore, it is with great satisfaction that I am here with you to show you two of the 32 AW-149 family helicopters that are already in service with the 25th Air Cavalry Brigade,” said , Minister of National Defence during a meeting with soldiers of the 25th Air Cavalry Brigade.

Handover of new AW-149 helicopters to soldiers of the Polish Army [© Polish MND: Senior Corporal Wojciech Król]

The AW-149 helicopter was selected for the Polish Army as part of the Perkoz multi-role support helicopter program. Based on the contract signed in July 2022, a total of 32 machines will be delivered to the 25th Air Cavalry Brigade. “

We signed the contracts last year in July at PZL Świdnik. These helicopters are also the future for PZL Świdnik. By co-producing these helicopters, this plant will strengthen the potential related to arms production in our country. I would like to thank the Italian partners for their close cooperation. It is thanks to this cooperation that the Polish Army is strengthened. In a very short time, we have ensured that the 25th Air Cavalry Brigade has development prospects. The first helicopters are being equipped with this brigade, we have trained ground crews and pilots,” said Minister M. Błaszczak during the handover of the helicopters.

Handover of new AW-149 helicopters to soldiers of the Polish Army [© Polish MND: Senior Corporal Wojciech Król]

The AW-149 is a multi-role helicopter manufactured by Leonardo (formerly Agusta Westland), intended for transport and battlefield support tasks and rescue. The helicopter is an enlarged version of the AW-139. The helicopters, in a configuration corresponding to the needs of the Polish Armed Forces, will be equipped with, among others, observation systems, shooting weapons, guided (Hellfire anti-tank missiles) and unguided missiles and self-defence systems.

The armament, depending on the variant of use of the helicopter, can be installed in the cabin or on the helicopter’s suspension points. The helicopters will perform both the tasks of transporting soldiers and supporting units from the air.

25th Brigade The Prince Józef Poniatowski Air Cavalry (25BKPow) is an airmobile tactical unit of the Land Forces deployed in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Nowy Glinnik and Leźnica Wielka, in the Łódź Voivodeship. The brigade is one of the most manoeuvrable units of the Polish Army, operating both on land and in the air, and able to repeatedly change its area of deployment thanks to the use of helicopters. Soldiers of the 25th Air Cavalry Brigade gained their combat experience, among others. on missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Chad.

AW-149 helicopter displayed at MSPO in September 2023 [© Bob Morrison]

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