The contract for delivery of four AW101 helicopters for the Polish Navy was signed in April 2019 at our facilities. An offset contract was also signed, the beneficiary of which is the WZL-1 plant, which will form a helicopter exploitation support center. The other beneficiary of the offset contract is the Centre for Maritime Military Technologies at the Gdańsk University of Technology.
The AW101 helicopters are to be used for anti-submarine warfare and CSAR tasks. Leonardo is to provide technical support for 10 years and PZL-Świdnik is the prime contractor for the Navy programme. Deliveries are scheduled for 2022. Some of the work is being carried out at PZL-Świdnik according to schedule.
In the AW101 program, PZL-Świdnik plays an important role by being the centre of excellence for aviation structures within Leonardo Helicopters. From the very beginning, we have been producing key components for this helicopter, such as: ceiling panels, pilot flor, upper fuselage, fairingsand helicopter floor panels. We then brought the main instrument panel, avionic boxes, side consoles ant then the rear ramp into production. In 2019, we deployed the largest component from the AW101 – the rear fuselage for the Italian CAESAR programme, followed by the Polish programme.
The AW101 helicopters proved their worth during the Covid-19 pandemic, being the first helicopters in the world capable of performing biohazard transport missions.
Full capability considering the entire helicopter fleet is an asset for naval aviation to be able to decide how to operate, given the threats and tasks, e.g. AW101 for long range and endurance missions, and for operations from ships the AW159 could serve. Both helicopters have been excellent in joint missions with the Royal Navy, for example.
The AW101 is the most advanced and powerful multi-role helicopter currently available on the market and the number one choice of many international armed forces.