December 20th the Dziennik Gazeta Prawna newspaper informed that the Polish Treasury made a settlement with the Airbus concern, which is to finish the Polish cancellation of 50 the H225M Caracal multirole transport helicopters purchase.
According to the publicized information Poland is to pay PLN 80 mln for the breach of an already-made contract. The settlement has already been confirmed by the court – both parties decided to finish the dispute and to restore cooperation, which may result in the Airbus research and development center extension in Łódź. Eventually it may come to the point when the European producer will (again) offer their products to the Polish Army, as most of the military helicopter’s equipment still requires replacement, and the Polish Armed Forces declarations effect, on the other hand, that those equipment needs will increase. As the political commentators claim, the settlement has been the result of the Warsaw government decision to improve their diplomatic relations with France.
The decision on the breach of contract with Airbus was made in October 2016. The official reason for that was the lack of communication between the producer and the Ministry of Development, which concerned the offset agreement. Let us remind you, according to the Ministry of Defense, it was to order 50 H225M Caracal helicopters, the first batch was to be delivered to the Polish Armed Forces as soon as in 2017. The above batch included ASW machines (8), special forces support (8), medical evacuation MEDEVAC (5), combat rescue CSAR (13) and multirole/transport (16). The entire agreement, including the logistics support, was to cost PLN 13 mld.
Within the recent years the National Ministry of Defense has purchased four ASW helicopters with the SAR module for the Brygada Lotnictwa MW (Leonardo AW101) and eight multirole transport helicopters for the Zespół Lotniczy JW GROM (Lockheed Martin S-70i Black Hawk). Additionally, the Armament Inspectorate negotiates to purchase the Kruk combat helicopters, which are to replace the contemporarily used Mil Mi-24D/W Hind’s as well as the multirole on-board helicopters, which, on the other hand, are to replace the Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite.