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

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