Thursday, October 30, 2014
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Uganda orders W-3A, A109 helicopters

A W-3A Sokol in police configuration.Uganda’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has ordered one A109 GrandNew and one W-3A Sokol helicopter for the Uganda Police for law enforcement across the country.

The contract, announced at the Farnborough International Airshow yesterday, was awarded to PZL-Swidnik, an AgustaWestland company. The aircraft will be delivered in 2015 as part of the deal that includes a training and support package.

The GrandNew will be assembled at the AgustaWestland plant in Vergiate, Italy, and will be equipped with a cargo hook, search light and loud speaker system. The W-3A Sokol will be assembled at the PZL-Swidnik facility in Swidnik, Poland. This aircraft will be equipped with a cargo hook, rescue hoist, search light, loudspeaker system, rappelling kit, FLIR and provisions for firefighting equipment and an emergency floatation system.

The Uganda Police Force Air Wing was originally established in 1966 but has no aircraft flying after its single Bell Jet Ranger was grounded two years ago, according to The Monitor. However, six pilots are currently being trained to fly the new helicopters.

“This latest achievement continues the success of Finmeccanica – AgustaWestland and PZL-Swidnik types in the African commercial and parapublic market to perform a wide range of missions including law enforcement, emergency medical services, VIP transport, offshore transport and harbour pilot shuttle,” AgustaWestland said.

The GrandNew light twin can be flown by either one or two pilots and features a four-axis dual duplex digital autopilot coupled with a Flight Director. It is also equipped with the Chelton Flight Systems’ Flight-Logic Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS), Synthetic Vision and Highway In the Sky (HITS) for situational awareness and automated flight.

The helicopter is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PWC207C engines delivering 548 kW each, allowing it to carry between six and seven passengers. Maximum cruising speed is 289 km/h and range is 859 km. More than 330 Grand series of helicopters have been ordered by 210 customers in 40 countries.

The W-3A Sokol is an intermediate twin engine helicopter with a maximum take-off weight of 6 400 kg and is capable of carrying up to 14 people, as well as cargo. The helicopter is powered by two PZL-10W turboshaft engines with each engine rated at 662 kW for take-off. More than 160 Sokols have already been sold to over 20 customers in more than 10 countries worldwide.
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