ROME — Poland plans to buy AW149 helicopters, the defense ministry said Monday, with one Italian bank estimating the order could be worth €1.1 billion (U.S. $1.15 billion) to manufacturer Leonardo.
“In the near future we will sign contracts for the supply of mine destroyers ... AW149 multi-role support helicopters, two observation satellites and tank destroyers,” according to a tweet from the ministry, which cited Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak.
Polish news portal Defence24 reported the order will include 32 helicopters, with assembly handled in Poland by PZL-Świdnik, which is controlled by Leonardo. It also reported Poland will acquire the helicopters in three different formats: combat support; command; and reconnaissance and electronic warfare.
Italian brokerage Banca Akros on Tuesday estimated the contract value, which it said is equivalent to about 7.7% of Leonardo’s expected 2022 orders.
A medium-lift, multirole helicopter launched in 2006, AW149 customers include Thailand and Egypt. Leonardo is currently marketing the type to the United Kingdom.
The AW149 previously lost to the Airbus H225M in a bid to supply helicopters to Poland; the purchase was ultimately scrapped.
Tom Kington is the Italy correspondent for Defense News.