This year we are celebrating the jubilee of our company – the time, when planning the future, we stop for a moment to look back. The time that has passed since the establishment of PZL-Świdnik has allowed us to gather knowledge and experience at every stage of the helicopter's construction - from design, through development and production, to service and modernization. Here, in Świdnik, 70 years ago Polish helicopter plants were established which over time became a synonym for rotorcraft. The heritage that is in our hands is the pride of all Poles, the helicopters from Świdnik are able to satisfy the needs of the army and win the hearts of Poles, these rotorcrafts are a symbol of strength, endurance and Polish character.
The Świdnik rotorcrafts consist the majority of the Polish army's helicopter fleet. I know them well because I performed many tasks on them during my military service in the country and beyond its borders. They worked great, and the sight of the rotors on the horizon always poured positive emotions into the hearts of soldiers. Our native helicopters serve many users – incl. in the Czech Republic, Spain and the Philippines – they have also been a symbol of Tatra rescue for years. We are constantly modernizing the existing fleet, expanding its capabilities and supporting users.
Świdnik. Here, just before the outbreak of the war in June 1939, Marshal Edward Śmigły-Rydz opened the Pilot's School of the League of Anti-Aircraft and Gas Protection along with the nearby airport. A few years after the end of the war, plans were made for these areas to build a factory serving the Polish aviation and a housing estate for a huge number of future employees. Production at PZL-Świdnik started exactly 70 years ago, in 1951.
Today, after 70 years of PZL-Świdnik activity, it is difficult to imagine the city of Świdnik without a helicopter factory. There are hundreds of companies operating in our region that make up the local supply chain, and nearly a thousand suppliers from all over Poland create a complete picture of this unusual helicopter venture.
Our commitment to business partners, suppliers and subcontractors and all stakeholders is to lead this ecosystem onto a steep technology path that will lead us together to next levels of rotorcraft excellence. As one of the largest countries in this part of Europe, we deserve our own helicopter program, which creates added value for the Polish economy. Helicopters are needed to carry out many tasks during various types of emergencies - humanitarian, social, military, as well as those related to the natural environment.
If the defense and aviation industry is considered as strategic, from the state's point of view, domestic orders in the aviation industry, or more narrowly – helicopter ones – are the heart of this ecosystem. They pump investment funds, know-how and technologies into the circulation so that the entire economy could constantly develop and build resistance to more frequent and deeper changes in the business cycles. The aviation industry is one of the most innovative sectors of the economy, providing products with high added value.
In the aviation area, Poland has great potential, and PZL-Świdnik is its foundation. We must not waste this potential, and it is our duty to develop and improve it. It is a tool to enrich the nation and strengthen Poland's role on the global defense industry scene.
It's been over a decade since we joined the helicopter family becoming a part of the Leonardo Group. Leonardo's position as a leader in high technology and a global company ranked in the top ten players in the aviation, defense and security industries has made Świdnik helicopter plant significantly strengthen its position in this market. We have developed in terms of technology and business - our revenues have quadrupled, we have developed export sales and have significantly expanded our technological base and machine park. On the other hand, PZL-Świdnik has been involved in the entire range of helicopter programs and contributes to their global success, the best example of which is the AW139 helicopter, in which we have been involved in designing from the very beginning, and we are currently producing aerostructures.
PZL-Świdnik, is the only Polish helicopter plant fully competent to design, develop, manufacture and maintenance helicopters throughout their life cycle. Our ambitious crew, constructors, technicians, engineers, technologists and the entire employees are ready for new challenges and for new helicopters that can be developed here to fly into the Świdnik sky and beyond. We propose to our military strategic partners two new helicopter programmes, which we would develop together with Polish partners and based on the Polish supply chain. We are offering the Polish military a new multirole helicopter based on the AW139 platform and joining the international program of building a new and state-of-the-art AW249 combat helicopter, which is now being developed by Leonardo for the Italian Ministry of Defense. We have also prepared plans for a deep modernization of the Sokół helicopter as part of the Next Generation offer.
We are also a key partner for the Polish Navy in the AW101 helicopter program designed to combat submarines and perform combat search and rescue and we offer a ship-based helicopters based on AW159 platform. PZL-Świdnik is actively responding to the expectations of unmanned platforms, and the Albatros program could be one of them.
We hope to continue our long-term strategic cooperation with the Armed Forces. We also want to be the supplier of he first choice for all our customers and a significant cooperator for our business partners. Helicopter programs are not only aircrafts, tools for the army and other users, but also significant benefits for the country's industrial safety, workplace and the development of avant-garde technologies.
I look to the future with confidence and hope to create a new quality of life with our Polish industrial partners, thanks to the development of Polish helicopter programs.
Chairman of the Board of Directors, PZL-Świdnik