Andrzej Jeziorski/WARSAW

The Polish Government is planning to issue a request for proposals for a new military transport aircraft this year, according to deputy defence minister Romuald Szeremietiew.

Szeremietiew, who is responsible for procurement in the Warsaw defence ministry, has already indicated that a leading candidate is the Spanish CASA CN-235.

Poland had planned to buy a batch of these aircraft about three years ago after the Spanish manufacturer won a competition for the requirement, but the plans were dropped because of a lack of cash.

Szeremietiew made his announcement following a visit to Spain in mid-July. The ministry says the Polish air force needs 12 tactical transports, and that about Pzl800 million ($228 million) has been put aside in the state budget to meet the requirement.

Spain is interested in buying PZL-Swidnik W-3 Sokol helicopters, which it has previously leased for firefighting duties.

Szeremietiew says the aircraft are needed to replace ageing air force Antonov An-26s.

The ministry says, however, that Spain is by no means guaranteed to win the contract, with offers expected from Alenia, with the G222, and Lockheed Martin, which could offer used C-130 Hercules or the C-27J variant of the G222 it is developing with Alenia.

Source: Flight International