Leonardo AW101. Photo courtesy of Leonardo
Leonardo has signed an offset agreement worth €90 million ($101 million USD) with the Polish Ministry of National Defence.
The agreement, which precedes a contract for Leonardo to supply medium-lift AW101 helicopters, commits the Italian major to establishing critical in-country maintenance capabilities and long-term cooperation with the Polish Armed Forces and local industry.
Leonardo owns PZL-Świdnik, the largest Polish helicopter manufacturer, and per the offset agreement will establish maintenance capabilities for the AW101 in the city of Łódź, also benefitting Gdańsk Technical University.
Last year, Airbus Helicopters and Leonardo responded to tender by the Polish defense ministry seeking four new helicopters for the country’s Navy, to carry out airborne anti-submarine warfare and search-and-rescue operations. However, Airbus later pulled out of the competition, stating the “offset requirements defined by the Polish MoD made it impossible for Airbus Helicopters to submit a competitive offer.”
The new AW101s will replace the Polish Navy’s Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite copters, according to First Deputy Defence Minister Wojciech Skurkiewicz.