AgustaWestland subsidiary PZL Swidnik has delivered four upgraded W-3PL "Gluszec" combat helicopters to the Polish land forces under a modernisation deal signed in 2006.

Key aspects of the project include a new flight control system, night vision goggle-compatible cockpit with multifunction displays, and powerplants using full authority digital engine control software.

The Gluszec also has improved communication and navigation systems and an integrated suite of self-protection equipment, including chaff and flare dispensers.

 W-3PL - PZL Swidnik
© PZL Swidnik

The improved aircraft will be capable of transporting up to 10 fully equipped troops, or performing combat search and rescue and ground attack tasks. It is armed with a 12.7mm machine gun in a nose-mounted turret and can also carry unguided rocket launchers and 23mm gun pods on its wing pylons. Targeting is provided using an electro-optical/infrared sensor with a laser rangefinder.

Elements of the upgrade were incorporated following Warsaw's operational experience in flying combat helicopters in support of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

PZL Swidnik and the Polish land forces are now discussing the possibility of modernising additional W-3 helicopters to the Gluszec standard, AgustaWestland says.

Source: Flight International