11-Oct-2016 Source: Airbus Helicopters
In light of recent statements regarding the status of the multirole helicopter tender in Poland, Airbus Helicopters feels the need to refute a number of misleading allegations reported in the media. It is our belief that Polish citizens and the Polish armed forces deserve full transparency on the tender process in which Airbus Helicopters and Airbus Group have been fully committed over the last four years.
The decision to break the offset negotiation process was made unilaterally by the Polish Ministry of Development on October 4th. The Ministry stated that this decision was made because Airbus Helicopters’ offset proposal allegedly did not meet the essential security interests of Poland.
In April 2015, Poland selected Airbus Helicopters’ offer for the modernization of its multirole helicopter fleet. This proposal encompassed both the deliveries of H225M Caracal helicopters and the associated offset offer (industrial activity in Poland). Airbus Helicopters was chosen as the sole offer fully compliant with the demanding Ministry of Defence requirements, including the transfer of high-level technology deemed essential to guarantee the essential security of interests in Poland.
Airbus Helicopters strongly refutes some allegations reported in media that it has carried out this negotiation process in bad faith. On September 30th, four days before the Ministry of Development’s decision, Airbus Helicopters accepted to extend the validity of its offer at the request of the Ministry of Defence until November 30th. In spite of a slow negotiation process initiated with the Ministry of Development in September 2015, Airbus Helicopters has remained fully committed to finding an agreement with Poland:
· Our offset offer would have generated more value in Poland than the revenues that would have been generated for Airbus Helicopters through the helicopter supply contract.
· Out of a global Airbus Group ambition to create 6000 jobs in Poland, the Airbus Helicopters project would have led to the creation of 3800 jobs, including 1250 direct employments mainly in Lodz, Radom and Deblin.
· In a letter dated October 3rd, Airbus Helicopters proposed new concessions in order to reach the agreement, in the best interest of both parties.
Airbus Helicopters deeply regrets this decision and would like to provide full clarity about the content of its offset proposal.
Preserving the essential security interests of the Polish State
Full Assembly Line in WZL1
In its offer, Airbus Helicopters agreed to establish the first state-owned helicopter plant in Poland with WZL1 company, and in which Poland would have had a 90% stake.
New projects requested by the Ministry of Development
Airbus Helicopters has presented Poland with a global offer preserving the security interests of the country, in line with offset regulations.
Independently from the Caracal Full Assembly Line that would have been established in Lodz, Airbus Helicopters offered Poland the creation of an additional and new production plant dedicated to the manufacturing of rotor and transmission complex parts for the full range of existing and future Airbus Helicopters products. The initial investment represented 370 Million PLN. Over 10 years, this project would have generated a turnover of 1.7 billion PLN and more than 200 Million PLN per year beyond this period. This outstanding project was rejected from the offset proposal by the Ministry of Development.
In August 2016, new requirements were introduced by the Ministry of Development. Airbus Helicopters acknowledged that it was impossible to include some of these new projects in particular as they were not compliant with EU regulations governing the tender.
Many statements have been made regarding the ability of other competitors to better serve the interests of Poland. Airbus Helicopters would like to make the following comments on the matter:
There is no Polish state-owned helicopter manufacturer in Poland. All established facilities are fully-owned by their foreign parent companies and are the result of a different industrial approach. PZL Swidnik is a Leonardo company, while PZL Mielec is a Sikorsky / Lockheed Martin company. Airbus Helicopters would have been the first and only helicopter company to meet Poland’s ambitions to develop a state-owned rotorcraft manufacturing capability.
All competitors in the tender went through the same demanding nearly three-years process: request for information, sessions of technical dialogue and request for proposal. The two other competitors did not submit compliant offers.
Despite all the communication done by Sikorsky / Lockheed Martin and Leonardo since the selection of the Caracal, Airbus Helicopters remains the only company having made the effort to fully comply with the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Development requirements in its offer.
The offer from Airbus Helicopters was the only one bringing additional employment, high-end technologies, while truly supporting the development of the state-owned Polish industry and securing a significant growth potential for future activities within the next decades.
Airbus Helicopters stands ready to provide all the supporting information deemed necessary to clear any doubts or misinterpretations about the content of its proposal.