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Poland evaluates three bids for helicopter acquisition

Poland is reviewing the three submissions it has received for an urgent requirement to acquire new helicopters for anti-submarine warfare and special forces missions.

Bids were submitted on 27 March from an Airbus Helicopters/Heli Invest team, and PZL Mielec and PZL Swidnik – the respective Polish subsidiaries of Sikorsky and Leonardo Helicopters – for the special forces tender, according to the nation’s armaments inspectorate.

However, only two – Airbus Helicopters and PZL Swidnik – have tabled an offer for the naval requirement, it adds.

Airbus Helicopters is thought to be bidding the H225M in both cases, while PZL Swidnik is proposing the AW149 for special forces operations and the larger AW101 for ASW missions. PZL Mielec is pitching the S-70i Black Hawk.

Bartosz Kownacki, Polish deputy defence minister, says: “We are at the tender analysis stage. Then we will move on to the technical dialogue phase. Subsequently, there will be final offers, including the price.”

Kownacki says that if the bids comply with legal requirements then it will proceed to a “qualification test phase” concurrent with negotiations on industrial offset.

Warsaw intends to acquire eight special forces helicopters, with the exact quantity of ASW-roled rotorcraft it will buy to be determined by their price.

The renewed acquisition process was sparked by Poland’s October 2016 ending of negotiations with Airbus Helicopters over the purchase of 50 H225Ms.

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