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 a senior analyst covering both the Europe and Asia-Pacific regions for Forecast International's International Military Markets group.

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