PZL-Swidnik, an AgustaWestland company, is pleased to announce that all of four W-3PL Gluszec helicopters, a multirole combat version of the W-3 Sokół, have been delivered to the Polish Land Forces.
PZL-Swidnik and the Polish Ministry of Defence first signed a research and development phase contract in 2003 for the production of a W-3PL (Głuszec) prototype aimed at the modernization of the existing Army’s helicopters. A second contract was signed in 2006 for the delivery of four in service helicopters upgraded to the W-3PL standard.
PZL-Swidnik and the Land Forces are now discussing on possible future cooperation in order to modernize additional W-3 helicopters upgrading them to the Gluszec standard.
The multi role W-3PL Gluszec results from Polish Air Brigade’s experience gained during combat missions in Iraq. An in-depth modernization of all helicopter’s systems was implemented to enhance its capabilities to perform a range of missions also including troop transport, combat search and rescue (CSAR) and attack of moving/stationary targets and enemy troops.
The helicopter is equipped with a 4axis AFCS, engines with FADEC, and an NVG- compatible cockpit with MFDs. Navigation equipments include INS with GPS, Tacan, VOR/ILS, DME, digital map. All communication, navigation and weapon systems are fully integrated. The W-3PL Gluszec is also fitted with self-protection systems such as IFF, RWR, IR warning receiver, chaff and flare dispensers and features specifically armored seats, floor and doors in the cockpit.
Ten fully equipped troops can be transported on folding seats in utility configuration with the troop commanding 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) also comprise rocket launchers, a conformal side pod with 23 mm gun, mines laying system on NATO standard beams and a 12,7mm machine gun on nose mounted turret.
Almost 150 Sokół helicopters have been sold so far to 20 customers in 8 countries. The Sokół can perform a number of roles also including military missions, fire fighting, aerial works, EMS, law enforcement, VIP/corporate transport.