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Leonardo targets Polish attack helicopter deal with AW249

Leonardo Helicopters is to pitch its AW249 attack helicopter – currently being developed for the Italian army – to Poland for its nascent Kruk procurement programme. The manufacturer has detailed the offer as part of a collaboration agreement with Polish defence firm PGZ.

Under the terms of the agreement, the pair will explore joint efforts on "design, manufacturing, final assembly and aftersales support for the AW249", states Leonardo.

It says the agreement will give Polish industry the opportunity to participate in an all-new attack helicopter programme.

Leonardo already has a Polish subsidiary, PZL-Świdnik, but has not detailed that firm’s involvement in the AW249.

Other likely contenders for the Kruk requirement, which seeks to replace the Polish Land Forces' fleet of Mil Mi-24s, are the Airbus Helicopters Tiger, Bell AH-1Z Viper and Boeing AH-64 Apache.

The AW249 is being developed as a replacement for the Italian army's AW129 Mangusta fleet, which will be retired from 2026. It uses the drive train and dynamic components from the AW149 transport and will have a maximum take-off weight of 7-8t.

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