Poland's Ministry of National Defence has detailed its plans to acquire a new fleet of helicopters for multiple tasks, and is expected to issue a request for proposals early this year.

In late December, the defence ministry confirmed "26 new helicopters will be bought, based on the same platform". These should include 16 tactical transports and three search-and-rescue (SAR) aircraft for the Polish land forces, plus four anti-submarine warfare and three maritime SAR versions for the navy. A deal should also include five simulators, personnel training and logistics support, it said.

Contenders are expected to include the AgustaWestland AW149 and Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk, with deliveries to be sought in the 2012-2017 period.

The defence ministry also signed a deal with AgustaWestland company PZL Swidnik late in December to deliver another four W-3PL Gluszec combat helicopters in 2014-2015. The helicopters will be rebuilt from W-3/W-3As for use by land forces. Poland already has four armed W-3PLs assigned to a combat SAR flight at Inowroclaw air base.

Additional reporting by Grzegorz Sobczak

Source: Flight International