The Poland Ministry of National Defence has made a formal request to three companies regarding procurement of multi-role helicopters for Poland’s Armed Forces.
Poland Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz issued invitations to PLZ Mielec, PLZ Swidnik and Airbus in order to meet urgent needs for the armed forces.
All three firms have been involved in previous helicopter procurements, according to a statement posted on the ministry’s website.
Macierewicz was quoted by Radio Poland as saying: “Orders for the period to 2022 are for at least 50 helicopters.
“We are not confining ourselves to that number but at least 50 helicopters will be supplied to the Polish army.”
The move comes immediately after the country scrapped its talks on a $3.5bn deal to purchase 50 EC-725 Caracal helicopters from Airbus earlier this month.
The deal to purchase EC-725s was announced by the previous Citizens’ Platform (PO)—Polish People’s Party (PSL) coalition government in 2014, in order to improve military capabilities amid regional tension over Russia's annexation of Crimea that year.
Polish Defence Ministry Operations Centre official Beata Perkowska said that PLN1bn ($253.71m) has been allocated for the purchase of the helicopters.
The first batch of the new helicopters is expected to be delivered in 2018.
According to Macierewicz, the ministry intends to enable factories across the country to produce helicopters for the country’s armed forces.