WARSAW, Poland — Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak has signed a deal to acquire four S-70i Black Hawk helos from Lockheed Martin’s offshoot Sikorsky. Under the plan, the copters will be supplied to Poland’s special forces.
The aircraft will be produced by the group’s Polish subsidiary PZL Mielec, with deliveries scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019.
"Together, we achieved success, because the Polish Armed Forces will operate these helicopters. We acquired them at a good price," Blaszczak said Jan. 25 at the official signing ceremony.
The contract for aircraft with related logistics, equipment and training packages is worth a total of 683.4 million zloty (US $180.7 million), the ministry said in a statement.
The helos were acquired outside of a tender procedure. In 2015, the then-Polish Cabinet decided to order 50 H225M Caracal copters from Airbus, but the deal was scrapped the following year after a change in government. The canceled contract was estimated to be worth about 13.5 billion zloty. Other forerunners in the tender included the Black Hawk and Leonardo’s offshoot PZL Swidnik, which makes the AW149.
In 2017, the ministry launched a new tender to acquire eight copters for the special forces.
“This is the first phase of the cooperation between the Polish Armed Forces and PZL Mielec,” Blaszczak said.