Poland to buy 32 multi-role choppers for land forces

Mariusz Blaszczak, the Polish defence minister, signed an agreement with aircraft manufacturer Leonardo on Friday in the eastern town of Swidnik, where the aviation company has its manufacturing branch. Wojtek Jargiło/PAP

Poland has ordered 32 AgustaWestland AW149 multi-role helicopters for the Polish Army for EUR 1.75 billion.

Mariusz Blaszczak, the Polish defence minister, signed an agreement with aircraft manufacturer Leonardo on Friday in the eastern town of Swidnik, where the aviation company has its manufacturing branch.

"The contract is for PLN 8.25 billion (EUR 1.75 billion)," Blaszczak said.

The first helicopters will be delivered to the Polish Army at the beginning of 2023.

"Once again we have signed an agreement on the delivery of helicopters to the Polish Army here at the Swidnik plant," Blaszczak said, recalling that in 2019 the Defence Ministry ordered four AW101 helicopters, also produced by Leonardo, for the Polish Navy.

Blaszczak also expressed satisfaction that the Polish plant will contribute to the construction of the aircraft.

"But the most important thing is that the Polish land forces will get modern helicopters as soon as from next year," he said, adding that the government had sped up arms purchases owing to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Apart from the helicopters, Poland has also ordered a logistics and training package plus simulators.