Poland buying Leonardo’s AW101 helicopters for anti-submarine warfare tasks | World Defense

Poland buying Leonardo’s AW101 helicopters for anti-submarine warfare tasks

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Poland buying Leonardo’s AW101 helicopters for anti-submarine warfare tasks
April 9, 2019


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Illustration: Royal Navy photo of a Merlin Mk2 helicopter

The Polish government has signed an EUR 90 million offset agreement with Leonardo MW which will precede a contract for the delivery of AW101 helicopters for the Polish Navy’s anti-submarine warfare and search and rescue operations.

While the helicopters will be delivered from the Leonardo MW Yeovil facility in the UK, the offset agreement will see Leonardo establish a maintenance center for the helicopters and their mission systems at Polish Armaments Group’s Military Aviation Works No.1 in Łódź.

Poland’s Gdańsk Technical University will also benefit from the offset agreement, it was noted.

Polish defense minister Mariusz Błaszczak confirmed that the official contract for the delivery of helicopters would be signed by the end of April without specifying the number of aircraft to be bought.

The country has previously indicated it would need up to eight ASW-equipped helicopters for its naval forces.
The AW101 is operated by the navies of the UK, Japan, and Italy.
 

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Poland acquires AW101 helos for Navy under $430M deal
By: Jarosław Adamowski   4 hours ago

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Poland has ordered four AW101 helos from Leonardo for the country’s navy. (Leonardo photo)

WARSAW, Poland — As part of efforts to replace Soviet-designed copters with new aircraft, the Polish Ministry of Defence has signed a deal to acquire four AW101 helos from Leonardo for the country’s Navy.

The deal is worth some 1.65 billion zloty (US $430 million), and the aircraft are scheduled to be delivered to Poland by the end of 2022, the ministry said in a statement.

The contract was inked April 26 at the European group’s Polish subsidiary PZL Swidnik. Leonardo was the only bidder in the tender to supply the copters after Airbus Helicopters decided to pull out of the contest last December.

The "offset requirements defined by the Polish [Ministry of Defence] made it impossible for Airbus Helicopters to submit a competitive offer," the manufacturer said in a statement sent to local news agency PAP.

The new copters, fitted with anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and search-and-rescue (SAR) capabilities, are to replace the Navy’s Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite copters, according to First Deputy Defence Minister Wojciech Skurkiewicz. Local observers have also said the helos could replace the Polish Navy’s Soviet-designed Mil Mi-14 copters.

Poland acquires AW101 helos for Navy under $430M deal
 

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With $414M helicopter deal inked, Leonardo preps for another sale to Poland

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KIELCE, Poland — Following Leonardo’s deal in April with Poland under which the country ordered four AW101 helicopters, the company aims to secure a deal for the supply of AW249 helicopters under the country’s much-awaited combat helicopter tender.

The Italian firm’s AW101 deal is worth about 1.65 billion zloty (U.S. $414.65 million), and it hopes its manufacturing presence in Poland, where it operates a facility in Swidnik, will give it an advantage toward obtaining a larger contract for combat helos, which would be purchased under the Kruk (Crow) program.

“We’re committed to delivering the ordered AW101s in 2022, and we’re considering the possibility of expanding the contract by further helicopters for the Polish Navy,” Marco Lupu, the president of local subsidiary Leonardo Poland, told Defense News at the MSPO defense industry show.

“For the Kruk program, we’d like to offer the AW249. [Its development] was funded by the Italian Ministry of Defence to replace the A129 Mangusta. It’s expected to have its first flight in 2020 to 2021, and reach full operational capacity by 2025,” Lupu added.

Under the Polish Defence Ministry’s technical modernization program, the country’s Air Force is to acquire an estimated 32 combat helos in the coming years. The first squadron of aircraft is expected to be delivered by 2026.

Earlier this year, the ministry inked a deal to acquire four S-70i Black Hawk helos from Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky for the Polish special forces.

In 2015, the government decided to order 50 H225M Caracal helicopters from Airbus, but the contract was canceled the following year after a change of government leadership.

 

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Air Forces Monthly, Issue 402, Sept 2021, Page 12
 
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