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.
— Poland MOD 🇵🇱 (@Poland_MOD) April 26, 2019
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.