Sikorsky pulls out of a $3.6 billion Polish helicopter tender

The US-Polish Sikorsky - Mielec consortium claimed the technical, legal and economic terms set by the customer preclude the consortium from participating in the procurement procedure.

Australia's first MH-60R Seahawk Romeo aircraft, complete with RAN kangaroo roundel aircraft markings, conducts its initial test flight at Sikorsky's production facility in Stratford, Connecticut, USA. Mid-Caption Project AIR 9000 Phase 8, the Seahawk Romeo helicopter program, reached a significant milestone on June 26, 2013. Carrying the tail number N48-001, Australia's first Seahawk Romeo completed its initial test flight at Sikorsky's production facility in Stratford, Connecticut, USA. The helicopter successfully passed a range of tests during the 1 hour and 20 minute sortie including controllability, engine performance, vibration analysis and navigation. A second sortie later that day completed the 'Contractor Flight Acceptance' phase. The helicopter will now be fitted with its highly capable mission systems and sensors at Lockheed Martin's facility in Owego, New York. The first two MH-60R helicopters are scheduled to be handed over to the Royal Australian Navy in December 2013.
Sikorsky announced it is withdrawing the SH-60 Blackhawk helicopter form bidding on a Polish helicopter tender over legal, technical and financial compliance issues

The Consortium of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and PZL Mielec is withdrawing form a tender for utility helicopters requested by the Polish Ministry of Defense, unless terms of the procedure are amended, Sikorsky Aircraft and PZL Mielec announced today. Sikorsky said the Consortium is not opting out of the procurement but “It is impossible to submit an economically viable offer that would be 100% compliant with each and every requirement, including technical, legal and financial aspects.”

The procurement of 70 multi-role helicopters for utility (48), search and rescue (16) and naval anti-submarine missions for the Polish air force and navy would cost about $3.6 billion (12 billion zloty). Sikorsky/Mielec was one of the contenders, its main competitor offering the SH-70i platform, locally produced in Poland. Airbus Defense & Space (formerly Eurocopter) is likely to offer the somewhat heavier EC725 Cougar, available in land and navalized versions. The Polish Swidnik SA, partnered with Anglo-Italian Agustawestland of the Italian Finmeccanica group could also offer the Italian group’s new AW-149. NH Industries, offering the NH-90 platform could also enter the fray now with Sikorsky out of the game.

“The decision of the Consortium is not a negotiation tactic” Sikorsky said. “we strongly believe that the BLACK HAWK produced in Poland is the best solution for the Polish Armed Forces, fully satisfies its needs and increases the security of the Republic of Poland. The S-70i, produced at PZL Mielec, is the latest generation BLACK HAWK technology produced by Sikorsky.