PZL-Swidnik highlights new products

Sept. 6, 2012 at 3:33 PM
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WARSAW, Poland, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Polish aircraft manufacturer PZL-Swidnik SA, an AgustaWestland company, has announced a new product and another in the works.

The new product is the prototype single-engine the SW-4 Solo, a rotorcraft unmanned air system/optionally piloted helicopter. The SW-4 Solo, developed through collaboration with AgustaWestland, is based on the proven SW-4 single engine platform.

The company said the aircraft will spearhead its aim to play a major role in the UAV sector.

"Unveiling the first ever Polish rotary-winged unmanned air system at MSPO 2012 demonstrate the leading role PZL-Swidnik SA is playing in the world's rotorcraft industry.

"For our company, remote controlled and unpiloted airborne capabilities are becoming synonymous with the highest possible technology achievements in aeronautics."

MSPO 2012 is an annual international defense industry exhibition held in Poland. It began last Sunday this year and ended Thursday.

PZL-Swidnik said its SW-4 Solo is designed to deliver maximum flexibility to operators. In a RUAS configuration the Solo can perform tasks such as maritime, border and battlefield surveillance; target acquisition and reconnaissance; homeland security, environmental monitoring, ground survey and mapping, disaster/battle damage assessment and cargo supply.

As an optionally piloted platform, it can be used for passenger transport and training.

Mission suites for the aircraft include surveillance sensors, communication/intelligence systems and armament.

The aircraft, in a piloted configuration, will be flight tested in the near future, while its maiden unmanned flight will occur next year.

Meanwhile, on company drawing boards is the W-3PL/N multirole naval helicopter, which will be developed leveraging experience gained from the W-3 Anaconda maritime SAR helicopter operated by the Polish navy in the Baltic Sea.

The company said the W-3PL/N will feature a compact sonics system -- dipping sonar and sonobuoys -- forward-looking infrared radar, an emergency floatation system, new landing gear and main rotor blade folding system.

For defense, it can be outfitted with air-to-surface missiles, torpedoes and machine guns.

"The launch of the W-3PL/N demonstrates our continued commitment to offering maritime operators across the world the greatest range of helicopters for the task," said PZL-Swidnik Managing Director Nicola Bianco.

"This latest addition to the product range benefits from our unrivalled expertise in the naval helicopter sector and builds upon the success of the Sokol platform."

At this year's MSPO, PZL-Swidnik also displayed a new generation AgustaWestland AW149 twin-engine multi-role military helicopter and an Italian coast guard AW139 for which the Polish company provided the airframe.

PZL-Swidnik SA has been a major supplier to AgustaWestland since 1996, supplying airframes for a number of aircraft, and was heavily involved in the design of the AW149.

"The AW149 is the only new generation military aircraft in its class in decades, representing the best solution to meet the future fleet modernization and operational requirements of the Polish armed forces to face the challenges of the 21st century evolving expeditionary, homeland security and public utility scenarios," the company said. "The AW149 will also offer second to none industrial opportunities, ensuring maximized overall in-country return on investment."

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