MSPO 2019: Leonardo offers next generation of multipurpose helicopter based on W-3 Sokół

At MSPO 2019, the International Defense Exhibition in Poland, Italian Company Leonardo in collaboration with the Polish aviation industry and R&D centers, present the next generation of multirole military helicopter concept based on the W-3 Sokół, a medium-size, twin-engine, multipurpose helicopter developed and manufactured by Polish helicopter company PZL-Świdnik, now part of Agusta Westland Świdnik.

Leonardo offers next generation of multipurpose helicopter based on W 3 Sokól 925 001
Upgraded W-3 Sokół, helicopter presented at MSPO 2019, defense exhibition in Poland. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The PZL W-3 Sokół is a medium-size, twin-engine, multipurpose rotorcraft fully designed and manufactured in Poland. On 16 November 1979, the Sokół conducted its maiden flight. Following an intensive test program, type certificated for the helicopter was received from aviation authorities in Poland, Russia, the United States and Germany. The low rate production of the W-3 Sokół was started in 1985.

At MSPO 2019, Leonardo and Polish aviation industry present a concept to respond to the future needs of the Polish Armed Forces for a new generation of Battlefield Support helicopters. The collaborative project oversees a major modification of the W-3 platform which is the basis of the helicopter fleet of the Polish Armed Forces. Only the latest and already tested technologies available on the market have been used for the new concept, without compromising the Polish military needs through the guarantee of shorter delivery times, high level of reliability and savings in terms of the acquisition and operating costs.

The next generation W-3 helicopter will provide the Polish Armed Forces with advanced battlefield support capabilities through a wide range of mission equipment, covering fully integrated armaments system [Air-to-Air missiles, Anti-tank missiles, 70mm rocket pods, cannon pods (12.7/20 mm), machine gun installed in a cabin] and an Integrated Defensive Aids System, an Electro Optical Surveillance System, NVG Compatibility and Head Up Display.

The helicopter will be equipped with new blades and main rotor and a fully digital avionics system, covering a glass cockpit, Flight Management System (FMS), Synthetic Vision System (SVS), digital maps and Terrain Avoidance Warning System (TAWS), as well as a 4-axis digital autopilot, new communication system, an Engine FADEC and Health & Usage Monitoring System (HUMS).

The helicopter will be able to perform a wide range of missions: troop transport, Special Forces insertion/extraction, CSAR, Intelligence, Surveillance and Armed Reconnaissance, MEDEVAC/CASEVAC.

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