Poland Orders S-70i Black Hawks for Special Forces

Poland has signed on for the procurement of four Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopters under a sole-source contract. The deal was inked by Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak on January 25. The S-70i is manufactured by Lockheed Martin’s Polish subsidiary, PZL Mielec.

The new helicopters are being purchased for use with the Polish Army’s Special Forces and are expected to be delivered in December 2019. The value of the contract, plus associated equipment, training and a logistics package, totals PZL683.4 million ($180.7 million), according to the Polish Ministry of National Defense.

Poland initially launched a tender for eight such helicopters on February 20, 2017. Whether the deal announced on January 25 represents the initial batch procurement or involves an option for an additional four units is yet to be announced, though the full eight-unit order remains the goal. The contract does, however, begin the process of gradually replacing the current fleet of Russian-legacy Mil Mi-8 sand Mi-17s with NATO-standard alternatives, part of the emphasis of Poland’s ongoing modernization push.

Overall, Poland’s armed forces are expected to field 200 helicopters in multiple variants (attack, medium utility, heavy-lift, etc.) by 2030.


About Daniel Darling

Dan Darling is Forecast International’s director of military and defense markets. In this role, Dan oversees a team of analysts tasked with covering everything from budgeting to weapons systems to defense electronics and military aerospace. Additionally, for over 17 years Dan has, at various times, authored the International Military Markets reports for Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. Dan's work has been cited in Defense News, Real Clear Defense, Asian Military Review, Al Jazeera, and Financial Express, among others, and he has also contributed commentary to The Diplomat, The National Interest and World Politics Review. He has been quoted in Arabian Business, the Financial Times, Flight International, The New York Times, Bloomberg and National Defense Magazine. In addition, Dan has made guest appearances on the online radio show Midrats and on The Media Line, as well as The Red Line Podcast, plus media appearances on France 24 and World Is One News (WION).

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