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Leonardo has announced that the Polish Navy’s first AW101 (ZR285) made its first flight on 19 July at the company’s site in Yeovil. The flight demonstrated functional checks of the main airframe systems as well as the control system. Engine-handling checks were taken throughout to monitor the speed range of the aircraft. The flight envelope will now be opened further with testing exploring the bespoke mission equipment fitted to the aircraft. With the Polish company PZL Swidnik as the prime contractor to the Polish Ministry of Defence, the programme involves Leonardo teams from Italy and the UK .

In April 2019, the PZL Swidnik announced it would supply four AW101s and a comprehensive integrated logistics and training package to the Polish MoD.

Juergen Hensel