Defence24.pl found out that five entities have submitted their proposals and met the deadline (31st July) related to the technical dialogue concerning the acquisition of medium airlifters, also known under the name “Drop”.
Cpt. Krzysztof Płatek, spokesman for the Armament Inspectorate, announced that the following companies have submitted their proposals:
- Leonardo S.p.A.;
- Airbus Defence and Space S.A.U.;
- Embraer S.A.;
- Boeing Company;
- Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company.
No type of aircraft was clearly indicated by the MoD. Thus we do not really know as to what airframe is of interest for the military, within the context of the “Drop” programme. The term “medium airlifter” may apply both to the C-130E, as well as to the C-295 platform.
Considering the age of the aircraft in question and the fact that C-130Es are going to be withdrawn in 2022, it may be easily assumed that the process concerns acquisition of a replacement of the five Hercules aircraft operated by the Polish Air Force. The programme’s schedule indicates that the analytical-conceptual phase is to last from September 2019 until May 2020. This means that the procured aircraft could almost instantly replace the withdrawn Hercules aircraft.