The Polish Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a contract for four AW101 ASW/CSAR helicopters for the Polish Navy. Under the terms of the agreement signed today by the Polish MoD and PZL Swidnik, a Leonardo company, the Polish Navy will receive four AW101 helicopters in the ASW/CSAR configuration. Deliveries should conclude by the end of 2022. The deal is worth 1,65 billion Polish Zloty ($428 million).
We have signed a contract, which provides PZL Swidnik with a growth potential. Lately we’ve acquired helicopters for Special Forces, and now we will also significantly enhance our capabilities to perform anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations from the air. These helicopters will also be suited for search and rescue (SAR) operations, said Mariusz Blaszczak, head of the Polish MoD, who attended today’s ceremony. PZL Swidnik’s role will be crucial not only as prime contractor for this new contract, but also for the modernization of other platforms, he added.
The AW101 will help strengthen the security of Poland, as the aircraft is also in use by some of our NATO allies, underlined the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki.
Today’s ceremony was preceded by the signing of an Offset Agreement between the Polish MoD and a number of companies, which will be involved in the production, delivery and overhaul of future Polish AW101 helicopters, including Leonardo MW, Thales DMS France and MES (Meccanica per L'Elettronica e Servomeccanismi).
The offset deal, worth around 396 million Polish Zloty ($102 million), was signed on 8thApril and it provides commitments to establish a maintenance and overhaul center for AW101 helicopters at the Military Aviation Works No.1 in Łódź, which is part of the PGZ (Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa) holding, enabling it to support the fleet of Polish newest ASW/CSAR helicopters through their whole service life. The Gdańsk Technical University is among other entities, which will also benefit from the Offset Agreement.
The procurement program for four new ASW/CSAR helicopters was launched in October 2016 under the urgent operational requirement procedure. Beforehand, Airbus Helicopters company, which pitched its H225M Caracal platform in the Polish tender, decided to withdraw from the competition.