Leonardo, a global player in aerospace and defence, solidified its commitment to Poland’s security and technological advancement with the launch of the AW149 helicopter production line at PZL-Świdnik.

This milestone reveals Leonardo’s partnership with Poland but also pushes for a new era of self-reliance in the country’s defence industry.

With the opening of this production line, Poland can manufacture AW149 helicopters domestically, a feat achieved in less than two years since the contract’s signing. The move fosters the growth of its workforce, as local talents are engaged in the production process.

Poland has already taken delivery of two AW149 transport and utility helicopters from PZL-Świdnik for its land forces, as highlighted by GlobalData’s intelligence on the Polish defence market.

By leveraging investments in local production, Poland aims to reap economic benefits through job creation and technology transfer.

The AW149 helicopter programme represents a symbiotic relationship between Leonardo, PZL-Świdnik, and the Polish Ministry of Defence. A contract signed in 2022 covers production, integration, armament, modernisation, and technical support.

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The AW149 helicopter offering competes to fulfil the UK’s new medium helicopter requirement. Leonardo’s AW149 faces competition from Airbus Helicopters, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin.

Gian Piero Cutillo, managing director of Leonardo Helicopters, emphasised the significance of PZL-Świdnik’s evolution from a manufacturer to a key market player, “There are growing requirements for our company based in Świdnik to continue to evolve from a manufacturer to a key market player that manages complex contracts and deliveries. The Polish MoD programme of AW149 is a clear example of this today.”

In 2016, the Polish Army’s air fleet expanded by delivering four W-3PL Głuszec helicopters developed by PZL-Świdnik and the armed forces.