Poland Extends Contract to Leonardo for Four AW101 Navalized Helicopters

Poland has awarded Leonardo Helicopters a contract valued at $423 million for the delivery of four AW101 helicopters equipped for naval missions.  The contract had been anticipated since Poland inked an industrial offset package with Leonardo worth EUR90 million ($100 million) almost a month ago.

The AW101s are being procured as a replacement for the Polish Navy’s current fleet of six Russian-legacy Mil Mi-14 Haze naval helicopters.  Once in service, the AW101s will be used by the Polish Navy for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) missions.  Deliveries are expected to wrap up in 2022.

After scrapping a 50-unit order from Airbus Helicopters in 2016, the current Polish government opted for a more piecemeal approach to plugging emerging capabilities gaps by executing urgent operational orders this year for four Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawks intended for its Special Forces, plus the AW101 order.  A major program under the latest Ministry of Defense Technical Modernization Plan, the Kruk project, intended to replace the Soviet-legacy 1970s-vintage fleet of Mil Mi-24 “Hind” attack helicopters, is the next helicopter procurement looming.

British AW101 “Merlin” Image – Flickr/L.C. Nottaasen (CC BY 2.0)

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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