Airbus Helicopters has attempted to defuse an increasingly tense situation in Poland, with the selection of its H225M Caracal for a 50-unit order potentially at stake.
In recent weeks, Antoni Macierewicz, appointed Polish defence minister in the wake of October elections, has criticised the selection of the H225M and threatened to reopen a tender if offset conditions were not sufficiently generous.
In a media statement, Airbus Helicopters chief executive Guillaume Faury says the company stands “ready to move forward as soon as possible” in negotiations with Warsaw’s development ministry on its proposed contribution to the nation’s economy.
“It is essential for us to explain, discuss and, if necessary, adapt in detail our offer in order to meet the needs of the aeronautic and defence industry in Poland,” says Faury.
“I strongly believe that, through the official negotiation process, we will be able to fully dismiss the concerns that have been raised.”
It is unknown if any meetings are presently scheduled between the two parties.
Aside from a final assembly line in Lodz for the Caracal – which will produce helicopters both for Warsaw’s tri-service requirement and the export market – Airbus Helicopters has also promised to set up facilities for maintenance and technical research in Dęblin and Radom, respectively.
Dęblin would also host a maintenance facility for the Turbomeca Makila 1A1 engines that power the H225M.
The H225M was selected by the previous Polish government in April, beating off competition from PZL Mielec and PZL Swidnik, the respective local subsidiaries of Sikorsky and AgustaWestland.