The Polish government has taken significant steps to bolster its national defense. On October 30, 2023, Minister of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak proudly announced the delivery of two out of the 32 AW149 helicopters to the 25th Air Cavalry Brigade.
The AW-149, a versatile and state-of-the-art helicopter, was selected as part of the Perkoz program to support the Polish Armed Forces. The contract, signed in July 2022, paved the way for the delivery of these advanced machines to the 25th Air Cavalry Brigade.
During the handover ceremony in Nowy Glinnik, Minister Błaszczak emphasized the importance of this acquisition, stating, “We are all aware of the threats facing Poland. Wars are being waged beyond our eastern border, and there are intense conflicts in the Middle East and heightened tensions in Asia. Given these challenges, it is imperative that we enhance the capabilities of the Polish Armed Forces. I am pleased to be here today to present two of the 32 AW149 helicopters that are now in the inventory of the 25th Air Cavalry Brigade.”
The AW149, produced by Leonardo (formerly Agusta Westland), is a versatile helicopter designed for various missions, including transport, battlefield support, and search and rescue operations. It is an enlarged version of the AW139. These helicopters, configured to meet the requirements of the Polish Armed Forces, are equipped with state-of-the-art observational systems, firepower, including guided Hellfire anti-tank missiles, unguided rocket pods, and self-defense systems.
Depending on their designated roles, armament can be installed either inside the cabin or on external hardpoints. The AW149 helicopters will be instrumental in executing tasks related to troop transport and air support for ground units.
Minister Błaszczak also praised the partnership with Italian collaborators, saying, “We signed the contracts last year in July at PZL Świdnik. These helicopters also signify a bright future for PZL Świdnik. Through their cooperation, this facility will strengthen Poland’s defense production capabilities. Thanks to this partnership, the Polish Armed Forces are becoming more robust. We’ve managed to make rapid progress, and now the 25th Air Cavalry Brigade is on the path to development. The first helicopters are being delivered, and we have trained ground crews and pilots.”
In conclusion, the delivery of the AW149 helicopters marks a significant step in enhancing Poland’s military capabilities in a complex and ever-changing international landscape. These helicopters will play a vital role in safeguarding the nation’s security and supporting its troops on various missions.