The plan, so far, which has been also confirmed by the Ministry of Defence in September, assumed that final offers are going to be placed by five of the selected companies, while the agreement itself was to be signed by the end of November. The airframes were to be delivered in June 2016. However, the current narrative is that detailed terms of reference are to be formed by the end of November. We do not know when the Agreement is going to be signed, however we may be certain that this will happen under the jurisdiction of the new Minister of Defence. No information regarding the reasons, for which the President’s Office requested the proceedings, the aim of which was to conclude the agreement, to be delayed, is available.
Within the framework of the procedure, the aim of which is to acquire the VIP jets, the Armament Inspectorate selected offers from five companies, out of nine which have placed their offers in July 2015:
- Bombardier (Canada)
- Dessault Aviation (France)
- Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation (USA)
- Megmar Logistics & Consulting Sp. z o.o. (Poland)
- The Jet Business International Corporation (UK)
The former three companies are manufacturing the jets with proper specifications, while the latter two supply services and jets. Polish Ministry of Defence considers both procurement of factory-new airframes, as well as second-hand ones. In the latter case, the Polish government is willing to acquire jets which have been manufactured after 2006. The jets have been defined as “small”, being capable of carrying 12 to 14 passengers. Their range, without a stopover, is not to be shorter than 5000 kilometres, with maximum number of passengers on board. In case of eight-person delegation, the jets shall be capable of flying over the Atlantic. The Agreement shall also include a logistics package, operational package and training for the crews and the ground crew. Contrary to the Embraer 175 jets, which are being used now (chartered from LOT Polish Airlines), the new VIP aircraft are to be fitted with an encrypted communications suite, which is to be usable at every stage of flight and on the ground. Moreover, the airframes are also required to be fitted with an IFF system, compliant with the NATO requirements.
Acquisition of the VIP aircraft constitutes an element of the national security plan, adopted in 2014. Currently, Polish MOD is a Party of a chartering agreement signed with the PLL LOT Polish Airlines, for the period between 2014 and 2017. Within the scope of the agreement above, Embraer 175 jetliners are being used to carry out the VIP flights. The Armament Inspectorate notes that acquisition of two “small” jets is going to “complement the existing VIP transport system”.