8-Dec-2015 Source: HeliHub.com
A junior defence minister in Poland is reported by Polsat News to have confirmed that the country’s helicopter tender will be reviewed, some seven months after the short-list was refined down to one “preferred bidder”. While no contract has been signed with Airbus Helicopters for their H225M Caracal, it had been selected after an extensive selection period. In the meantime, Poland went through a national election and a different political party is now in power. Part of their manifesto was to review this contract, and it is certainly feasible that it will be re-run
Polsat News also said that Airbus were not going far enough to guarantee ongoing employment in the country, despite a statement in July indicating that 250 jobs would be created they believe the benefit was “at the will of the company” and lacked the level of confirmation expected. The losing bidders are both already well entrenched having bought different parts of the once-state-owned PZL. AgustaWestland had been bidding with their AW149 and own the factory at Swidnik. Meanwhile, Sikorsky were offering their S70i, which they build at Mielec. The article goes on to say that AgustaWestland were sidelined on the basis of not being able to start supply of their AW149 on the required schedule, while Sikorsky were not able to integrate with the requested weaponry.
At the same time, a contract with Raytheon for Patriot missiles is also under review.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com