Uganda’s police will later this month take delivery of an A109 GrandNew and W-3A Sokol helicopter from the Polish subsidiary of AgustaWestland. The police service will also receive a fixed wing aircraft.
The aircraft are being assembled and tested prior to delivery. They were ordered in July last year by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Uganda for law enforcement missions across the nation. The contract, awarded to PZL Swidnik, includes a training and support package.
Police chief General Kale Kayihura told Uganda’s The Monitor that he had visited the AgustaWestland facility in Italy in March where the A109 is being built. He said that the police are bringing one of their existing helicopters back to flying condition.
The W-3A Sokol 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, PZL said.
The GrandNew, which will be assembled at the AgustaWestland plant in Vergiate, Italy, will be equipped with a cargo hook, search light and loud speaker system.
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 been sold to over 20 customers in more than 10 countries worldwide.
The Uganda Police Force Air Wing was originally established in 1966 but has no aircraft flying after its single Bell Jet Ranger was damaged in a crash in 2010. Six pilots and support crews finished their training in March and will fly the new aircraft back to Uganda.
Meanwhile, early last month it emerged that the Ugandan government has budgeted around $3.7 million in 2015/16 for a new helicopter for President Yoweri Museveni.