Poland to acquire five more Mi-17 helicopters for Afghanistan ops

Poland to acquire five more Mi-17 helicopters for Afghanistan ops

3-Mar-2010 Source: Polish Ministry of Defence

Defense Minister Bogdan Klich has announced the completion of the tender to purhase an additional five helicopters Mi-17 designed to strengthen the Polish Military Contingent in Afghanistan.

The tender winner was Metalexport company whose bid has been set at 313 million zÅ‚oty (around US$106M).   The tender was carried out the “same but cheaper” principle adopted in the last year in the Ministry of National Defense.  This means that they have intentionally negotiated very hard and the price paid is as low as it feasibly could be – explained the Minister of Defense.

Conducting the negotiations in this way led to a saving budget in the amount of 257 million zÅ‚oty, because they had originally earmarked the sum of 570 million zÅ‚oty for this purchase. Savings will be used to purchase other types of military equipment and arms, including trainers and simulators.  This five Mi-17 helicopters will be delivered in July, August and September to the Polish military and will then be retrofitted to a specific “Afghan version”, including the addition of multi barrel machine guns and passive defence systems. This work will be performed at the WZL-1 Military Aviation Works in Lodz within 3 months, and they will then transferred by the end of this year for operations in Afghanistan

Minister Klich compared the current bid to an offer made last year by a consortium Cenzin, WZL-1 and AFIT. Price for one copy of the Mi-17 was then about 103 million zł, currently about 63 million złoty for the current tender .

“We are pleased that through this purchase we can increase the strength of our transportation contingent in Afghanistan” – the deputy head of department explained Martin Idzik. He added that the implementation of the so-called “Afghan package”, this year will be realized in all the planned purchases, and the priority is the purchase of transporters and their dopancerzenie Wolverines made by Polish companies, which further reduce costs. Deputy Minister of Ministry of Defense also announced that it has been accelerated work on obtaining an aircraft for the Air Force advanced training LIFT. The tendering procedure is to be completed by the end of the year.

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