Khalem Chapman outlines what we know so far about the AW249, a technologically advanced attack helicopter being developed by Leonardo Helicopters to meet evolving threats over the next 30 years

Export potential

Although it is still very early days for the AW249, the helicopter has already garnered interest from the export market. In July 2018, Leonardo signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Poland’s state-owned Polish Armaments Group to collaborate on the rotorcraft’s development. The nation is currently seeking to replace the Polish Army’s fleet of Soviet-era Mil Mi-24D/V (NATO reporting name: Hind-D/Hind-E) attack helicopters under the Kruk procurement programme.

As part of this LOI, Leonardo Helicopters and the Polish Armaments Group will explore collaboration opportunities in supporting the design, manufacturing, final assembly, marketing and provision of aftersales support for the AW249. If selected by the Polish MOD under the Kruk programme, companies within the Polish Armaments Group’s portfolio – including the Leonardo subsidiary PZL-Swidnik will take part in the production and servicing of the new aircraft.

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