Polish trainer contest attracts five bidders

Warsaw
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Five bidders have submitted initial offers to the Polish defence ministry's requirement for a new advanced jet trainer.

As expected, the integrated training system contest has attracted responses from Alenia Aermacchi with the M-346, BAE Systems, offering the Hawk 128, and a Korea Aerospace Industries/Lockheed Martin bid with the T-50P. Additional interest has come from Aero Vodochody, with the L-159T1 and Finland's Patria, which is offering upgraded Hawk 51/51As.

Negotiations will take place with each of the bidders over the next six to seven weeks to define detailed tactical and technical requirements. Final documentation will be required before the end of this year, with the shortlisted bidders to then have another two to three weeks to submit detailed proposals.

A winner should be announced in late February or early March, with a contract to be signed in May or June next year.

The defence ministry says its evaluation will be weighted 70% for acquisition and service costs, 20% for "premium parameters" and 10% for offsets. It will also take into account the so-called "Polonisation" of the respective packages.

If more than one bidder is selected, the final price of the bids will be subject to an electronic auction.

Additional reporting by Grzegorz Sobczak