AgustaWestland company PZL-Świdnik has started developing a new multirole naval variant of its Gluszec helicopter, with the design based on its armed W-3PL already flown by the Polish land forces and the navy's W-3RM Anakonda maritime search and rescue platform.
"We are conducting research work and finding systems and subsystems which can be fitted in the W-3PL/N," PZL-Świdnik president Mieczyslaw Majewski said while unveiling the concept at the MSPO exhibition in Kielce. "It is too early to define fixed dates for first flight and a cost for the programme, but the new helicopter will be a cost-effective solution for many customers all over the world."
Mission equipment planned for the aircraft includes a search radar, dipping sonar, sonobuoys, forward-looking infrared sensor, rescue hoist and searchlight. To enable embarked operations, it would also feature an all-new landing gear and an emergency flotation system, plus new main rotor blades with a blade-fold system.
To be capable of performing anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare tasks, plus search and rescue missions, and transport, the helicopter would be armed with torpedoes, air-to-surface missiles and machine guns.
Source: Flight International