Leonardo-Finmeccanica: official handover of W-3PL Głuszec and W-3RM Anakonda helicopters and opening of the new MRO center in Świdnik
Świdnik, June 27, 2016 – PZL-Świdnik, a Leonardo-Finmeccanica company, is pleased to inform that it is handing over to the Polish Armed Forces the last in the second series of four W-3PL Głuszec helicopters, which will bring the total number of Głuszec helicopters in the service of the Polish Army to eight. Moreover the handover of the first two out of five W-3RM Anakonda helicopters modernized for the Polish Navy is taking place. The company also demonstrated today the new MRO center, which will help to improve the client and product support it offers. The ceremony was attended by outstanding guests, including representatives of the Polish government headed by the Minister of National Defence, Antoni Macierewicz, Armed Forces, operators of the helicopters produced in Świdnik, local authorities, MPs, as well as representatives of the Polish defense industry, R&D sector and the media.
Mauro Moretti, CEO and General Manager Leonardo-Finmeccanica said: “These latest achievements testify the importance of our long-established in-country presence as well as our world-class leading role in supplying the capabilities our customers deserve. We’re committed to delivering even more in the future to meet any requirement with latest technology, cost/effective through life-cycle support and unparalleled industrial benefits for Poland.”
W-3PL Głuszec helicopter is a result of close cooperation between PZL-Świdnik, Polish Armed Forces and the Air Force Institute of Technology. The helicopter is in daily service of the 56th Air Base in Inowrocław. Głuszec is the newest version of Sokół rotorcraft modernized to meet combat support standards. The helicopter is provided with state-of-the-art avionics integrated with the mission computer and with the equipment and armament (largely Polish-made) allowing it to fulfil a wide range of combat missions, i.e. CSAR, combat support, troop and cargo transport, convoy duties, surveillance and targeting, and air assault. The following armament systems have been installed on the helicopter: a remote-controlled gun turret, armed with a 12.7mm machine gun mounted under the nose of the helicopter, a double-barrel 23mm cannon in dispenser, NATO 70mm standard rocket launchers, MIL 1553 bus-controlled flare and dipole chaff dispensers, jammer of IR missiles, head-up display; moreover integration covered the existing armament, i.e. 57mm and 80mm rockets, air-to-air missiles, small diameter bombs. The first four Głuszec rotorcrafts were delivered to the Polish Army in December 2010. Then the second contract was signed for upgrade of another four Sokół helicopters to W-3PL version.
PZL-Świdnik developed and produced W-3RM Anakonda helicopter, which is in service of the Polish Navy. Polish seamen use six such machines and two W-3 helicopters in transport version. Presently Świdnik performs the contract for upgrading of five helicopters used by the Naval Aviation Brigade to the state-of-the-art maritime rescue version. As part of the performed modernization works, PZL-Świdnik adjusts the equipment to the uniform W-3WA RM standard. Transport helicopters will be also adjusted in the future to perform rescue missions. The contract also provides for training of the crews and technical staff. Anakonda helicopters have been in service of the Polish Navy for almost 24 years and have seen action in over
330 rescue operations throughout that time.
PZL-Świdnik is opening a new MRO center, which will use a specially adjusted facility with the area exceeding 4000 m2 to perform maintenance and repairs works for helicopters produced by PZL-Świdnik, including Mi-2, Sokół, Anakonda, SW-4, and in the future also other machines used by both Polish and foreign operators. The new facility is furnished with specialist equipment allowing it to perform all maintenance and repair works in a single place, improving the effectiveness and quality of the works, also by using new equipment and work organization. The center will employ over 100 workers.
Celebrating 60 years of the launch of helicopter production in 2016, PZL-Świdnik is the only producer of Polish-designed helicopters, with full capability in the field of design, R&D, system integration, manufacturing, performance of support and training and modernization of rotorcraft. Owing to PZL-Świdnik, Poland is one of five EU states boasting the capability to design, produce, develop and service helicopters on their own.
PZL-Świdnik presently employs approximately 3300 people, including almost 650 engineers, and cooperates with almost 1000 Polish enterprises, generating almost 4500 additional jobs in Polish economy. The largest group of its partners are located in south-eastern Poland, including members of the biggest Polish aviation cluster called Aviation Valley and of the Lublin Cluster for Advanced Aerospace Technologies.
PZL-Świdnik is one of the biggest employers and taxpayers in Lublin region, Since its privatization, the company has paid almost 570 million zlotys in public levies to central and local government budgets. So far the company has produced and delivered more than 7400 helicopters to clients in over 40 countries all over the world.
PZL-Świdnik is a core partner of the Polish Ministry for National Defence as part of the most important helicopter programmes of the Polish Armed Forces – almost 160 PZL-Świdnik-made helicopters are in service of the Polish Armed Forces. Almost 80% of all helicopters delivered to the Polish Armed Forces in recent decade have been those made in Świdnik (SW-4 Puszczyk, W-3PL Głuszec, W-3WA Sokół in VIP version for transportation of top-ranking state officials). The remaining 20% are Russian-made helicopters.