What has been the progress made, when it comes to the manufacturing of the AW101 platform for Poland? Is the process progressing in line with the original schedule? Or has the COVID-19 pandemic, impacting most of the defense sector businesses globally, become a factor that could create hand-off delays? If so, what delay are we dealing with here?
Świdnik completed its task and Yeovil continues the assembly process according to the plan.
PZL-Świdnik is a center of excellence in aerostructures, so since the beginning of AW101 production at PZL-Świdnik, we have been manufacturing the Ceiling Plate, Pilots’ Floor, Upper Fairing of the Hull, and Floor Panels. We have already produced over 40 sets for various customers also including those in Italy, Norway, Japan among others. Then avionics components such as the Main Instrument Panel, Avionics Boxes, Side and Inter-Console consoles were introduced into production. Another large AW101 component that was introduced was the rear ramp, first for the Japanese Program and then for Italian Air Force HH-101A CAESAR and Norway.
In 2019, the largest component from AW101 was implemented – Rear Hull for the Italian CAESAR program and then for the Polish program. All is completed for Polish programme.
Is Leonardo planning to offer the AW101 helicopters in any of the future Polish military’s helicopter acquisition programs? Here we are referring to the replacement of the Mi-8/17 family or the successor of the W-3 Głuszec CSAR platform?
Yes, we believe that AW101 could be an effective solution for both maritime and land mission requirements. Expanding the fleet would result in economies of scale, and would allow to fully exploit the capabilities to be established in Poland according to the offset requirement
Is the very specific CSAR/ASW configuration of the Polish Navy’s AW101 platform known already? Is Leonardo still claiming that a single helicopter can be quickly reconfigured for both missions? Is information available, when it comes to the quantity of the ASW and CSAR/SAR “mission equipment kits” procured for the 4 AW101 platforms acquired by Poland?
Configurations is known and fully compliant to Polish MoD requirements. However, contract is classified, so we cannot answer about the details.