Cooperation Between PGZ and Bell Helicopter - Viper Offer in the Kruk Programme. Relevant Memorandum Concluded

Image Credit: Sgt. Jamean Berry/US DoD.
Image Credit: Sgt. Jamean Berry/US DoD.

Polish Armament Group has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bell Helicopter company, pertaining to collaboration related to the AH-1Z Viper offer in the Kruk attack helicopter procurement programme, announced by the Polish Army.

The concluded agreement makes it possible to implement joint industrial programmes and transfer the technologies and know-how between the PGZ and Bell Helicopter companies. According to the information released by the US company, the memorandum paves the way towards collaboration, within the scope of expanding the potential of the Parties, and within the scope of offering the operational support and training package related to the AH-1Z Viper offer.

Robert Hastings, executive vice president and Chief of Staff at Bell Helicopter claims that cooperation with the Polish industryalso with the Polish Armament Group, shall make it possible to use its potential, knowledge and experience during the process of customizing and integrating the helicopter, and within the framework of creating new solutions for the Viper, in order to make the rotorcraft compliant with the requirements defined by the Polish Army.

Within the period between 23rd and 24th June, “industry days” event is going to be organized, the aim of which would be to examine the potential areas of cooperation of the domestic companies with the Bell Helicopter company and the Viper group cooperators, including companies such as GE, Northrop Grumman, Thales or General Dynamics. The event is being held by the Bell Helicopter company.

The talks are also going to refer to potential inclusion of the domestic entities in the AH-1Z programme. Joint research and development works and inclusion of the Polish companies in the Viper’s supply chain are also being considered as valid options.

AH-1Z Viper helicopters are offered to the Polish Army within the framework of the Kruk programme. The procurement initiative in question is to make it possible to select a successor of the obsolete Soviet-made Mi-24D/W helicopters. Acquisition of up to 32 new rotary-winged aircraft is being planned.

AH-1Z helicopters have been developed for the US Marines, they have a track-proven record of combat use. The helicopters have been designed with the USMC doctrine in mind, meaning that they are tailored to be operated away from permanent bases, with limited logistical support and infrastructure. The helicopter has 85% of its parts common with the UH-1Y Venom aircraft, also utilized by the USMC. Viper variant of the AH-1 helicopter has also been ordered by Pakistan.