Sikorsky will not make a bid in the Polish tender for helicopters?
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation CEO, Mick Maurer, sent a letter to the Polish authorities, including Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, indicating that his company at the current requirements of the Polish side, will not make a bid for the 70 helicopters for the Polish armed forces.
The American side had repeatedly informed the Poles of the impossibility to fully meet the Polish demands, in technical, economic, legal and financial terms. Taking into concideration the fact that the success of Polish proceeding in its current form is questionable, the SAC does not want to expose themselves to the additional financial costs. The American company suggests that the current requirements may meet only one of the three bidders, which contradicts the principle of competitiveness. SAC therefore calls for changing the requirements and organization of a new tender.
SAC: at the current requirements of the Polish side, we will not make a bid for the 70 helicopters. Polish MoD: we determine what we need for the armed forces and the bidders do not indicate what they have to sell.
The Polish Ministry of Defence quickly responded to the letter. In a statement submitted by the Ministry of Defence, the spokesman colonel Jacek Sońta says:
"We would like to note that it is contracting, the Ministry of Defence determines what they need for the Armed Forces and the bidders do not indicate what they have to sell. The final requirements for the multi-role helicopter have been known since May this year. SAC and the company has such helicopters in a palette of their products. We hope, therefore, that within a specified period to 28/11/2014, it will make an offer, and uploads only the list ,that is a part of the negotiation tactics. To the knowledge of the Ministry the other bidders announced the submission of tenders according to the requirements of the Armaments Inspectorate. The Ministry of Defencee guided by the interests of the Polish Armed Forces, does not plan to change the procedures or cancel the requirements because of the request of one of the bidders. The Ministry was and still is open and ready for the equal dialogue with all bidders, but in any of the proceedings the terms of the contract will not be changed "
The probable bone of contention can be the Polish requirement for a single platform for all 70 helicopters and the expectations of the Polish authorities on high technology transfer. These conditions are critical to the Polish side, and they do not plan to resign. It is worth noticing that the SAC has plants in Poland, PZL Mielec currently-mounting helicopters S-70I International Hawk on foreign orders. The potential lack of SAC in Polish tender would be a body blow, but most of all the risks for the future plant in Mielec which may be marginalized by the Turkish plants, the new and probable producer of Black Hawks.
The Polish Ministry of Defence expects the offers from three consortiums (Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation S-70 Black Hawk, Eurocopter EC725 Caracal and Italian AgustaWestland AW149) to the 28th of November. The deadline has already been extended for two months on the request of two bidders. The tender, which result is planned for the first half of 2015, assumes the purchase of 70 helicopters, including 48 transport (mainly for air cavalry), 16 combat search and rescue (for Air Forces and Navy) and 6 anti-submarine helicopters (for Navy). In order to modernize Polish helicopter fleet (the purchase of 5 W-3 helicopters to transport VIP, 70 multi-role and some dozens of attack's helicopters) we plan to spend 11.5 billion zloty (3,43 billion USD) to 2022.