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Poland to procure AW149 helicopters at second time of asking

Having previously failed in Poland, the AW149 has been selected for procurement by the country's Ministry of National Defence. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

Poland is to procure Leonardo AW149, after having previously discounted the medium-twin utility helicopter in favour of other types.

Polish Minister of National Defence, Mariusz Błaszczak, made the announcement on 13 June as part of a wider raftof defence procurement spending.

“In the near future, we will sign contracts for the supply of […] AW149 multirole support helicopters […],” the minister said. While Błaszczak offered no details on contract values, aircraft numbers, or delivery timelines, Polish media has reported as many as 32 helicopters being acquired. Leonardo had not responded to a Janes request for comment at the time of publication.

The acquisition will see the AW149 succeed in Poland, having initially failed to secure a sale in the country. Having been considered by the Ministry of National Defence (MND) as a potential replacement for its Warsaw Pact-era Mil Mi-14 ‘Haze' anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and Mil Mi-8 ‘Hip' troop transport helicopters, the AW149PL, as it was known during its initial Polish bid, lost out to the Leonardo AW101 Merlin in the ASW role and to the Eurocopter EC725 (later rebadged as the Airbus Helicopters H225M) in the troop transport role (this selection was later overturned in favour of the Polish-built Lockheed Martin S-70i Black Hawk).

As noted by Janes All the World's Aircraft:Development & Production

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