Frag Out! Magazine

Frag Out! Magazine #38

Frag Out! Magazine

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Page 51 of 161

THE AGREEMENT SIGNED ON JULY 1ST 2022, BY AND BETWEEN THE ARMAMENT AGENCY, AND LEONARDO'S PZL-ŚWIDNIK FACILITY THAT COVERS THE PROCUREMENT OF 32 MULTI-ROLE AW149 AIRLIFT HELICOPTERS SHALL BE VIEWED AS AN IMPORTANT STEP TOWARDS FURTHER ENHANCEMENT OF THE OPERATIONAL CAPABILITIES OF THE AIR-MOBILE COMPONENT OF THE ARMED FORCES. – MEDIUM WEIGHT MILITARY MULTI-ROLE HELICOPTER LEONARDO STORY BY: BORYS KULKA PHOTO: LEONARDO T he AW149 program formally dates back to 2006. The he- licopter was created based on an analysis conducted by Agusta Westland (Leonardo). The company, scrutinizing AW139's success, decided to expand its military portfolio. The maiden flight of the prototype took place on 13th Novem- ber 2009, with the second prototype joining the pack on 26th February 2011. Formally, the AW149 received its Italian aviation safety certification in July 2014. At the time it was already be- ing marketed among potential military users, Poland included, alongside Italy. Poland, at the time, was planning to procure a fleet of 70 multi-role helicopters. The Italian Ministry of Defen- ce meanwhile was seeking a replacement for its medium SAR helicopters. Rome ultimately decided to go with the smaller AW139 platform. The Polish contract regarding 32 AW149 helicopters is the most significant success recorded by this design. Between 2014 and 2021 around 30 examples were procured by Thailand, for its Police, and Army. The helicopter is also being delivered to Egypt

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