Poland is to increase its air force fleet of Airbus Military C295 medium transports to 16 aircraft, under a new five-unit deal worth 876 million zlotys ($262 million).
"Deliveries will start at the end of this year and continue into 2013," says Airbus Military, which signed the contract on 2 July. "The aircraft will be used to support the Polish air force in its national and international operations."
Polish sources say the first two aircraft will be delivered this year.
Flightglobal’s MiliCAS database records Poland as having received an initial batch of eight C295s between 2003 and 2005, with four more having entered use in 2007-2008. Its fleet was reduced to 11 by an accident involving one of the type in January 2008, which killed 20 air force personnel.
The Polish air force’s current aircraft are assigned to its 8th Air Transport Base at Krakow-Balice, with one permanently deployed in Afghanistan to perform transport, airdrop and medical evacuation tasks.
Air force commander in chief Lt Gen Lech Majewski says Warsaw had considered buying another Lockheed Martin C-130 to join its five ex-US Air Force E-model Hercules already in use, but instead opted for the "more cost-effective" C295.
Warsaw's first eight C295s will be overhauled at the EADS PZL Warszawa-Okecie facility in Poland between this year and 2014.
The deal continues a bumper period of orders for the C295 and smaller CN235 transports, with Airbus Military having sold a combined 30 of the aircraft so far this year. It will deliver all of them from the final assembly line for light and medium transports at its San Pablo site in Seville, Spain.
Poland's repeat order takes the total number of C295s sold to 113, Airbus Military says, with 85 of these having already been delivered.
Additional reporting by Grzegorz Sobczak