Poland looks at AW101 Merlin helicopters for search and rescue missions

Photo by Leonardo-Finmeccanica

The Ministry of National Defence Republic of Poland is looking to order AW101 Merlin multi-role helicopters for search and rescue (SAR), airborne mine countermeasures and ship-based utility missions.

The AW101 Merlin is a long range, medium lift helicopter developed by Leonardo-Finmeccanica company. The Merlin has been designed to perform naval warfare missions (ASW and ASuW), search and rescue (SAR), and military utility missions.

The AW101  helicopter can also be armed with anti-ship missiles, air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, rockets and gun systems. The typical range and endurance of the AW101 are 1,300km and six hours respectively.


The first AW101 helicopter entered service in 2000. It has been selected by the United Kingdom, Italy, Janan, Denmark and Canada with more than 200 aircraft ordered to date.

Early the Polish government has cancelled talks with Airbus Helicopters on a multi-billion euro deal to buy military helicopters.