Poland has postponed by a month the deadline for final submissions on its 70-unit tri-service helicopter acquisition, at the request of two of the three bidders.
However, the nation’s defence ministry declines to identify which of Airbus Helicopters, AgustaWestland and Sikorsky asked for the extension.
Warsaw had been working towards a 28 November cut-off for bidders to respond to the $3 billion tender, but this has now moved to 30 December.
The Polish defence ministry says: “The change is dictated by efforts to ensure that participants in the proceedings have the time they need for reliable and accurate preparation of tenders.
“This decision [will help] ensure the competitiveness of the proceedings.”
The contest is broadly a three-way fight between the EC725 Caracal, AW149 and S-70i Black Hawk, although Sikorsky has previously indicated it will additionally propose the S-70B Seahawk for the naval element of the requirement.
Although the precise details of the request for proposals has not been released, Poland says it wants one rotorcraft type to operate across all three services, alongside a need for local assembly and technology transfer.
It expects to choose a preferred bidder by the end of February 2015, with a series of test flights following. Contracts, including the offset agreements, are due to finalised by the second half of next year.
Sikorsky in October threatened to pull out of the running unless the terms of the requirement were altered.