The Polish Armed Forces has completed verification checks of the Eurocopter EC 725 Caracal tactical transport helicopter at the 33rd Transport Aviation Base in Powidz, Poland.
Conducted by the SZRP verification group, comprising experts and specialists in various operational and technical fields, the checks aimed to confirm that the helicopter is able to deliver the technical parameters submitted by contractors during the bidding phase in December 2014.
Divided into two phases to verify ground and flight characteristics, the checks verified all 32 parameters indicated in the bidding proceedings, including common platform, design of the helicopter, performance, and on-board equipment.
The team also verified the helicopter construction, including the interchangeability of fuel and lubricants, particularly those used by Nato, the construction of the landing gear, the number of exits, and possession of certifications addressing international aviation standards.
Helicopter performance, such as the ceiling, endurance, speed, hover performance, transport capacity, and range and mission radius, were evaluated, as well as its ability to fly by day and night, imaging and communication systems, and equipment required to ensure safe operation.
Accompanied by the receipt of positive opinion from the SZRP team, the verification checks will enable the Polish military procedure to negotiate the provisions of the agreement with the selected contractor.
If signed, the contract will cover the supply of 16 transport, 13 combat search and rescue, eight anti-submarine warfare, eight special operations variants, and five medical evacuation helicopters, all assembled in Poland.
In April, the EC 725 was selected as sole bidder for Poland's zl11.6bn ($3.8bn) utility helicopter programme, which covers acquisition of 50 medium-lift utility helicopters for replacement of the military's aging fleet of Mi-8/17 Hip and Mi-14 Haze helicopters.