As announced by the Armament Inspectorate of the Polish MoD, as the operational requirements have been redefined, the Drop medium airlifter procurement programme’s analytical-conceptual phase has been suspended. Further works on the programme would progress in line with a timeline adopted by the Polish Armed Forces, within the planning documents that remain confidential.
In other words, the programme would be continued, however, its roadmap would not be unveiled - at least for now. In practical terms, this probably translates into a postponement of the programme. The details of redefinition have not been disclosed. This approach is not surprising, considering the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and the urgent requirements and needs the Polish military has when it comes to equipment that is going to play a decisive role in defending the country (Wisła and Narew air defence systems, armour programmes, the F-35, ATGMs, grenade launchers).
This is even more pronounced as Poland is to receive five refurbished C-130H airlifters from the US that would join the Polish C-130E aircraft to ultimately replace them around 2022.
The willingness to execute a technical dialogue has been, quite surprisingly, announced by the Armament Inspectorate in late May 2019. Until the end of July 2019, five entities made their submissions: Leonardo S.p.A.; Airbus Defence and Space S.A.U.; Embraer S.A.; Boeing Company and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. One could speculate that the following designs have been offered: C-130J/J-30 Super Hercules, A-400 Atlas, and C-390 Millenium. The technical dialogue was scheduled to take place between September 2019 and May this year.