Fifth upgraded Polish Navy helo returns to service

(Cpt. Mariusz Kalinowski/Polish Navy)
(Cpt. Mariusz Kalinowski/Polish Navy)

PZL Świdnik has completed work to modernise a W-3WARM helicopter used by the Polish Navy as a search and rescue aircraft. The Anakonda helicopter, tail number 0505, returned to the 44th Navy Air Base in Darłowo on 7 October. It is the fifth such machine to be upgraded by the helicopter manufacturer. Two modernised W-3T transport helicopters were returned to the 43rd Navy Air Base in Babie Doły (Gdynia) as W-3WAs in February and March 2017. The next two rescue Anakondas (the W-3WARM version) returned to Gdynia and Darłowo respectively in April and June.

The modernised W-3s have received new kit including digital engine control (FADEC), updated rescue equipment, and new thermal imaging cameras coupled with searchlights. The helicopters are also equipped with an automatic identification system for surface vessels to aid with the evacuation of injured persons from ships. The rear cabin has benefitted from a new ventilator and infusion pump.

Three more W-3s are undergoing work by PZL Świdnik before they’ll be deployed at the 43rd Navy Air Base, following which all the Navy’s helicopters will boast identical equipment, which the service said will facilitate training, improve operations and enhance safety.

The hoist-equipped Anakondas are set up to conduct search and rescue operations over water and land by day or night. They can accommodate up to eight survivors with two stretcher patients.


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