12-Feb-2011 Source: PZL- Åšwidnik
AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that PZL- Åšwidnik has delivered all of four upgraded W-3PL GÅ‚uszec helicopters, a multirole combat version of the W-3 SokÃ³Å‚, to the Polish Land Forces.
PZL- Åšwidnik and the Polish Ministry of Defence signed a research and development phase contract in 2003 for a prototype W-3PL (GÅ‚uszec) helicopter, a modernised version of the Armyâ€™s existing helicopter. A second contract was signed in 2006 to upgrade four in service helicopters to W-3PL standard. PZL- Åšwidnik and the Polish Land Forces are now discussing the possiblility to modernize additional W-3 helicopters to the GÅ‚uszec standard.
The multi-role W-3PL GÅ‚uszec draws on knowledge gained from the Polish Air Brigadeâ€™s experiences on combat missions in Iraq. An in-depth modernization of all the helicopterâ€™s systems was implemented to enhance its capabilities for a range of missions including troop transport, combat search and rescue (CSAR) and armed attack of ground targets.
The helicopter is now equipped with a 4-axis AFCS, engines with FADEC, and an NVG-compatible cockpit with Multi-Function Displays. Navigation equipment package includes INS with GPS, Tacan, VOR/ILS, DME and a digital map. All communication, navigation and weapon systems are now fully integrated. The W-3PL GÅ‚uszec is also fitted with self-protection equipment and systems including IFF, RWR, IR warning receiver, chaff and flare dispensers and armour protection for the crew seats, floor and cockpit doors.
Ten fully equipped troops can be transported by the W-3PL on folding seats in utility configuration with the troop commander position equipped with an MFD. For SAR missions the cabin can be fitted with up to four stretchers, medical equipment, rescue hoist and search light. A range of weapon systems integrated with a sight-unit (TV/FLIR, Laser RF and HUD) include rocket launchers, a conformal side pod with 23 mm gun, mine laying system on NATO standard beams and a 12,7mm machine gun in a nose mounted turret.
Almost 150 SokÃ³Å‚ helicopters have been sold so far to 20 customers in 8 countries. The SokÃ³Å‚ can perform a number of roles including military missions, fire fighting, utility, EMS, law enforcement and VIP/corporate transport.