The 25th Air Cavalry Brigade proudly unveiled the first two of 32 state-of-the-art AW-149 multi-role helicopters, manufactured by the renowned Italian defense contractor, Leonardo. The unveiling took place during a special ceremony at the Nowy Glinnik military airbase in central Poland, where Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak handed over the helicopters to the unit.
Constructed partially at a factory in the southeastern Polish town of Świdnik, these advanced helicopters represent a strategic collaboration between Poland and Italy, strengthening both nations’ defense ties. Minister Błaszczak emphasized the urgency of bolstering the Polish Army in the face of escalating international threats, citing the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and regional tensions in the Middle East and Asia.
“The developmental prospects of the situation on the international arena are not good,” stated Minister Błaszczak. “The only effective response to these threats is strengthening the Polish Army. That is why it gives me great satisfaction to be here to introduce two of the 32 AW-149 helicopters now equipped with the 25th Air Cavalry Brigade.”
Highlighting the collaborative efforts between the two nations, Błaszczak detailed the contract signed on July 1 last year, amounting to PLN 8.2 billion (EUR 1.84 billion), which included a comprehensive logistical package tailored to the specific needs of the Polish armed forces. The manufacturing partnership with Leonardo not only enhances Poland’s military capabilities but also reinforces the country’s defense production potential.
Moreover, Minister Błaszczak emphasized the vital role these multi-role helicopters would play in supporting soldiers on the battlefield and facilitating troop transportation. The aircraft, armed initially with machine guns and unguided missiles, will soon be equipped with guided missiles and Hellfire anti-tank missiles, further enhancing their combat capabilities. Crews have already undergone rigorous training to operate and maintain these cutting-edge helicopters.