ISRAELI AVIONICS specialist Elbit is negotiating with Polish helicopter manufacturer PZL-Swidnik to provide avionics for the W-3W Huzar combat-support helicopter.
The Huzar is viewed as the favourite to meet a yet-to-be-released Polish army tender for a light-transport/combat-support helicopter.
No contract has been signed between Elbit and PZL, although the two were confident enough to have a shared stand at the annual Polish defence show in Kielce in early September. A mock-up of the proposed cockpit configuration was on display.
The upgrade is intended to provide the Huzar with a night-attack capability, with Elbit offering Rafael's thermal-imaging system. Additional ugrades would also include the mission flight computer and a navigation system, including a moving-map display.
Several other foreign companies have also been courting PZL, but Israel's apparent willingness to provide technology transfer is providing a major incentive for the Poles.
The Polish army needs to replace its obsolescent Mil Mi-2 Hoplite helicopters, although financing a replacement programme for up to 100 airframes is an obstacle to its ambitions. Elbit has offered several different upgrade proposals to meet a variety of funding levels.
WSK PZL Swidnik is planning to certificate an autopilot for the military variant of the Sokol by the end of April 1996. The autopilot is under development with Sextant Avionique and is due to be flown on a prototype Sokol soon. Certification will be to US Federal Aviation Regulations Part 29 standards.
Swidnik says that the autopilot is being developed in response to a Polish defence ministry requirement. The navy in particular, is said to be interested in a four-axis autopilot, to replace the Sokol's current two-axis stability-augmentation system.
Source: Flight International