WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s defense minister says his ministry shortlisted two offers submitted by Boeing and Bell for the country’s forthcoming acquisition of new combat helicopters.

Mariusz Błaszczak made the announcement following his official visit Wednesday to Washington, where he met with his U.S. counterpart, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

“We have two offers on the table with regards to combat helicopters, the offer of Boeing and the offer of Bell, and we will select the most favorable offer. We want such weapons to be acquired by the Polish Armed Forces as soon as possible,” Błaszczak was quoted in a statement released by the Ministry of National Defence.

Poland plans to procure new combat helos for the country’s military under its Kruk (Raven) program, replacing the outdated, Soviet-designed Mil Mi-24 fleet. Warsaw is expected to buy about 32 new helos. The estimated value of the acquisition was not disclosed.

Polish defense officials said Boeing is offering the AH-64 Apache, while Bell is pitching its AH-1Z Viper.

Other players who have expressed interest in supplying their aircraft to Poland include Airbus and Leonardo. However, with Poland’s military procurements over recent years visibly shifting toward direct purchases of American weapons, the two European groups were excluded on the Kruk program’s shortlist.

The latest development indicates Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has accelerated Poland’s plans to acquire new helos. Last year, Deputy Defence Minister Wojciech Skurkiewicz said the ministry would need “several years” to select a new combat helicopter.

Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.

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