PARIS — Airbus Helicopters last month submitted its offer in Poland's tender for 70 military multirole helicopters and expects a short list to be selected in February, Chairman Guillaume Faury said Tuesday.

The Polish competition is a "strategic opportunity" and Airbus has "good chances," Faury told journalists at the New Year's press conference.

Airbus Helicopters has pitched its EC725 Caracal against the Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk and AgustaWestland AW149. Each of the competitors has signed with a local partner for production.

Airbus will open a design office in Poland on Feb.19, and work will go on there independent of the tender, Faury said.

Poland also has a requirement for some 30 combat helicopters, for which Airbus will pitch its Tiger, Executive Vice President Dominique Maudet said.

Airbus Helicopters expects a business "stabilization" in 2015 and some large defense deals in the market.

Other major prospects this year include a tender for South Korea's light civil helicopter and light armed helicopter, and signing a contract for the NH90 transport helicopter for Qatar and the Caracal for Kuwait.

Mexico is seen as a potential market for the Caracal, for the armed forces, with the Tiger less of a priority. Brazil has had to reschedule production of the Caracal because of budget problems but that has been "stabilized," Maudet said.

The NH90 order book has been cut by 33 units, as Portugal canceled an order for 10 NH90s and Spain slimmed its order to 22 from 45 units. Spain has amended the contract to receive spares and logistical support for the helicopters for the three services rather than just the Army.

Lebanon has a requirement for seven Super Puma and some light Gazelle helicopters, as part of an arms the order for arms agreed with France and funded by Saudi Arabia.


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