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.