WARSAW, Poland — Poland and Ukraine are discussing plans to launch a joint production effort of helicopters that could be used by the militaries of Central and Eastern European allies, according to Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz.

"I think that this would be a completely new model but based on the industrial potential of both countries. We know that the Ukrainians make excellent engines, produced by Motor Sich," Macierewicz told pro-government broadcaster TV Trwam in a televised interview. "On our part, have the capacity to make a composite body. There is a number of possibilities here which could allow us to provide a very interesting product for Poland and other countries in Central Europe."

Irrespective of these plans, Poland is currently carrying out two tenders to acquire transport and combat helicopters for its Air Force. 

Referring to the conflict in Ukraine, where the country's government has been combating Russia-backed insurgents since 2014, Macierewicz said that the Polish military "needs helicopters, in particular because of what is happening east of Poland, on the eastern flank."

Based in Zaporizhia, in southeast Ukraine, Motor Sich makes a wide range of aircraft engines, main gearboxes and other components, as well as performs aircraft maintenance and upgrade services, according to the manufacturer. The company has supplied its output to a number of aircraft, including the Antonov An-8 and An-10, the Yakovlev Yak-40 and Yak-42, and the Mil Mi-8MT, Mi-14 and Mi-171.

Motor Sich claims to have supplied its services and products to more than 100 countries worldwide.

Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.

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