in Business Aviation

Augusta Westland shapes up Ugandan Police Force

Posted 5 May 2015 · Add Comment

The Ugandan Police Service (UPS) says it will this month (May) take delivery of two new helicopters from the Polish subsidiary of Italian aircraft manufacturer Augusta-Westland in terms of an order made by the Ministry of Internal Affairs in July last year. The helicopters have been undergoing final flights tests at the AW main assembly plant in Italy for the past month.

Ugandan police chief General Kale Kayihura said one fixed-wing

aircraft but did not disclose the source.  He said the two helicopters

will increase the police aircraft fleet from just one to four.

Speaking on return from a final progress evaluation visit at the AW

plant in Italy last month, Gen Kayihura said the new aircraft will be

used for civilian law enforcement, emergency  rescue, firefighting and

VIP transport operations.


"We have got two new helicopters coming. These are a A-109 Grand-New

and a W-3A Sokol which have been assembled by PZL-Swidnik and we are

also expecting a single fixed-wing plane. I think that will be a good

start as we are also repairing one broken down helicopter which should

bring the number of our aircraft to four," Gen Kayihura said. Prior to

this order, the Ugandan police had only one Bell Jet Ranger helicopter

which was badly damaged in a crash while it was transporting former

Prime Minister Apolo Nsibambi in 2010.


Six Ugandan pilots and support crews for the new aircraft concluded

their training in March and have already joined Italian crews in

conducting final flight tests at the AW assembly plant in Vergitate,

Italy. They will be flying the aircraft home later this month. In a

statement released following the conclusion of the deal at the

Farnborough International Airshow in July last year, PZL-Swidnik said

it clinched the contract after a rigorous evaluation process which

measured up to the 'demanding' requirements of the customer.


In terms of the deal, AW-PZL-Swidnik will also provide full training

and service support packages to the Ugandan police crews. "This latest

achievement continues the success of PZL-Swidnik and its parent

company's helicopters in  the African commercial and parapublic

markets to perform a wide range of missions including law

enforcement, emergency medical services, VIP transport, offshore

transport and harbor pilot shuttle,"  the company said. It added that

the contract was awarded following a rigorous evaluation process

against the 'demanding' requirements of the customer.


The twin-engined 3A-Sokol is a medium -sized aircraft with a carrying

capacity of up to 14 passengers and a light cargo of up to 6 4 00kg

which can be carried within the aircraft or dangled from an external

hoist. It is powered by two PZL-10W turbo shaft engines, each of which

produces 66kW of power. It is capable of performing a wide range of

duties including fire-fighting, troop transportation, fire-fighting,

search and rescue (SAR) and can be used as an air ambulance.


More than 20 countries around the world have ordered the aircraft,

which is widely used by the Polish armed forces. Among other

outstanding performance features, the 3A-Sokol has a maximum cruising

speed of 148 miles per hour and a full range of 463 miles. The

aircraft will be outfitted with an external cargo hook, search light,

a hoist for emergency rescue operations, a FLIR system,  a rappeling

kit,  emergency flotation systems, a loud-hailer and additional

provisions for the fitment of firefighting equipment.


The twin engined A-109 Grand-New version is the fastest and advanced

multi-purpose helicopter which has a carrying capacity of eight

passengers and light cargo. It is powered by two Pratt and Whitney

engines which deliver 549kW of power to achieve a maximum speed of

290km per hour and a range of 860km. It can be deployed in a wide

range of duties including VIP transport, emergency rescue and cargo

transport. It has a maximum cruising speed of 177 miles and a full

operational range of 500 miles.


Some of its outstanding main features include a digital avionics suite

which allows for single or dual pilot Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)

operation and a four-axis dual duplex auto-pilot and Flight Director

(FD) system.

"The GrandNew, which will be assembled at the AW plant in Vergitate,

Italy, was chosen for its unparalleled peformance and advanced

technology in providing superior mission capability and safety in

adverse operating conditions," PZL-Swidnik said. The aircraft has also

been outfitted with a cargo hook, a search-light and a loudspeaker

system to support emergency rescue and humanitarian disaster relief




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