KIELCE ---- Leonardo is taking part in the 26th edition of the International Defence Industry Exhibition MSPO 2018 in Kielce, showcasing its state-of-the-art defence technologies. Pride of place will be given to the Company’s Polish business, PZL-Świdnik, which is currently working on two important helicopter programmes: the optionally piloted/unmanned SW-4 Solo helicopter, one of the most technologically-advanced aviation projects in the sector, and the W-3PL Głuszec, which is in service with the Polish Army. Both will be exhibited in the Company’s static area.
Leonardo’s stand will showcase a complete portfolio of helicopters, including the AW101. Following its exhibition premiere last year in Kielce, the AW101 is Leonardo’s proposal for the Polish Navy’s ASW helicopter requirement. The AW101 is the best maritime and naval helicopter on the market, meeting even the most ambitious requirements of the Polish Armed Forces.
The SW-4 Solo, derived from the SW-4 helicopter produced by PZL-Świdnik in Poland, has been designed to operate with or without a pilot on board (RUAS/OPH – Rotorcraft Unmanned Aerial System/Optionally Piloted Helicopter). Testing campaigns have been held in Italy, Poland and the UK, with the Solo’s maiden flight (with no safety pilot on-board) successfully carried out at the end of last year. The Solo is equipped with advanced systems and sensors manufactured by Leonardo. It is a prime example of Leonardo’s capabilities in unmanned technology and exemplifies the quality of the work carried out by PZL-Świdnik, which is co-developing the project.
Notably, the Solo is part of both the OCEAN2020 programme, the most important project to come out of the first European Defence Fund initiative, and the HELIMARIS project, which aims to modify an optionally piloted helicopter for maritime missions. The latter is being conducted by PZL-Świdnik, in collaboration with Polish R&D centres and universities. OCEAN2020 will see unmanned platforms of different types (fixed wing, rotary wing, surface and underwater) integrated with naval units’ command and control centres, allowing for data exchange via satellite with command and control centres on land. The OCEAN2020 team, led by Leonardo, comprises 42 partners from 15 European countries, including Poland.
The W-3PL Głuszec is the most modern helicopter currently operated by the Polish Armed Forces. The unit on show at MSPO is operated by soldiers based at 56 Air Base in Inowrocław. The Głuszec is the newest version of Sokół helicopter, the backbone of the Polish Armed Forces helicopter fleet, upgraded in close cooperation with the Polish Armed Forces and defence industry to provide combat support capabilities. It is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics and equipment allowing it to perform numerous tasks on the modern battlefield. The Sokol Family of helicopters can be equipped with various equipment, sensors and systems, including armaments.
With regard to combat helicopter capabilities, Leonardo has recently signed a Letter of Intent with Polish Armaments Group that will see the two companies collaborating on the AW249, the only new combat helicopter currently being designed, which will be proposed to meet the Polish Army’s requirement for a new combat helicopter. Additional information about the AW249 and about how it can satisfy the Polish Armed Forces’ requirements will be available at Leonardo’s booth.
Leonardo’s advanced jet trainer, the M-346, is already operational with the Polish Air Force. 12 units are on order, eight of which are in service and the remaining four will be delivered by the end of 2020. Leonardo will be exhibiting its model at the company’s stand inside the MSPO hall. The new M-346FA variant, recently presented at the Air Show in Radom, is a radar-equipped (Leonardo’s Grifo-346) multirole fighter-attack which represents a highly effective, low-cost tactical solution for the modern battlefield. At the same time, it retains all the attributes of the M-346AJT, ensuring maximum commonality, operational flexibility and advanced training capabilities for air forces.
Leonardo’s offer to Poland in the aviation domain also includes the Eurofighter Typhoon, the world's most advanced swing-role combat aircraft, with nine customers and 623 aircraft ordered. Leonardo is part of the Eurofighter consortium, Europe’s largest military collaborative programme, and the leader of the Polish Eurofighter export campaign. The consortium is a technology driver for the European aerospace industry, offering huge opportunities for industrial participation. More than 100,000 jobs across 400 companies in Europe are secured by the programme.
Among a wide range of defence technologies, products and systems showcased at Leonardo’s booth (hall E / stand 22), visitors will have the opportunity to see Leonardo’s capabilities in the defence electronics domain including its range of world-class radars for surveillance (the Osprey AESA and the Gabbiano Ultra-Light) and fire control (the Grifo-346). Protective systems will include the Company’s world-leading BriteCloud expendable active decoy which defends against radar-guided missiles and the Miysis directed infrared counter-measure (DIRCM) which protects platforms from man-portable heat-seeking threats. Also on show will be the newly-launched ULISSES Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) system as well as space capabilities in the form of the Telespazio optical satellite.