Leonardo's W-3 Helicopter Upgrade Proposed
Leonardo has lifted the lid on a comprehensive concept upgrade for Poland’s multirole W-3 Sokol helicopters.
The company, which has a significant Polish presence through its ownership of PZL-Swidnik, has worked with Polish Armarments Group (PGZ) on the upgrade proposals. They include the installation of new main rotor blades and a new digital avionics suite and flight management system. The companies are also proposing a synthetic vision system, a four-axis digital autopilot and a new communications suite.
Leonardo, which unveiled the proposals at the MSPO defense show on Sept. 3, says the new blades will give the 6,400-kg max-gross-weight aircraft an additional 200 kg of useful load. Leonardo says it has used existing technologies for the upgrade path, enabling shorter delivery times as well as reliability and cost savings in terms of operation and acquisition.
Philippines is the only country in Asia that has W-3 in service.
This is an abbreviated version of an article that appeared in Aerospace Daily & Defense Report by Tony Osborne.