PZL Swidnik has unveiled its modernised W-3PL Gluszec (Woodgrouse) armed reconnaissance helicopter with a new open architecture avionics suite and Rafael Toplite electro-optical turret on the cockpit roof. To improve survivability a new self-defence suite includes a Ukrainian KT-01AV Adros infrared countermeasures device on the tailboom, new radar warning receivers and modernised ASO-2W flare dispensers.

The air-conditioned cockpit and cabin are partially armoured, and engines are equipped with a PZL Hydral full authority digital engine control system.

Armaments include a nose-mounted OBR SM Tarnow 12.7mm WKM-Bz machine gun, with weapon pylons to carry launchers for 57mm MARS-2Ms, 80mm B8-10s, 70mm NATO rockets or GADs (air-launched S-2M Strela missiles). The aircraft can also carry the Platan air scattered bomb-laying system or pod-housed 23mm guns.

To date the Gluszec has accumulated 200 flight test hours, with live firing. National certification tests are set to begin and the first batch of four combat search-and-rescue-capable helicopters should be delivered by next autumn. The total cost of modernising these four aircraft is some 90-100 million zlotys ($32-36 million). Unit cost is later expected to fall to around 20 million zlotys.

Source: Flight International