Poland Eyes Seasprite Helicopter Replacement Plan

Poland’s Ministry of National Defense is readying a procurement effort aimed at replacing the Polish Navy’s fleet of four Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite helicopters used in the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) role with four to eight multirole models. The project – nicknamed Kondor – will begin with a technical dialogue process expected to be launched by the country’s Armament Inspectorate between May and July.

The Polish requirement is for an ASW-capable helicopter with a maximum takeoff weight of less than 14,300 pounds (6,500 kg). Potential candidates include the AW159 from Leonardo and W-3 Sokol from local PZL-Swidnik, which is a subsidiary of Leonardo Helicopters. Both models would meet the preference of Polish officials for localized work share and industrial after-sales support  – both of which support the national defense sector.

Poland remains in the midst of a modernization effort aimed at revamping the armed forces’ Soviet-legacy helicopter fleet. On April 26, 2019, Poland acquired four Leonardo AW101 helicopters at a cost of PLN1.65 billion ($430 million) in an effort to begin replacing the Soviet-designed Mil Mi-14PL “Haze” helicopters that have been slated for retirement from Polish Navy service since 2015. The four AW101s are to be delivered by 2022.

The Seasprites are of U.S. manufacture, but are rapidly nearing the end of their useful service lives. They are utilized on the Polish Navy’s Pulaski class (ex-U.S. Navy Oliver Hazard Perry class) frigates.

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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