Mi-2 Replacement in the Polish Military: 12 Bids Submitted
12 domestic and foreign businesses expressed their willingness to participate in the technical dialogue organized by the Armament Inspectorate of the Polish MoD, to find a new multi-role support helicopter that would replace the Mi-2 platform. The group includes businesses such as Airbus Helicopters, Boeing and Bell Helicopter Textron, as well as the Polish PZL-Świdnik and PZL Mielec companies. The procedure has also attracted entities that offer operational support and other, extra services.
According to the spokesman for the Armament Inspectorate, Major Krzysztof Płatek, the following entities expressed interest in the technical dialogue concerning the multi-role support helicopter:
- 1. Works 11 Sp. z o.o.
- Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (KAL), via Helicopter Division Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
- Cobham Aviation Services UK Ltd.
- Airbus Helicopters SAS.
- Bell Textron Inc.
- Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa S.A.
- [Polish] Air Force Institute of Technology
- WSK „PZL-Świdnik” S.A.
- Elbit Systems Ltd.
- Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation
- Boeing Company.
- Polskie Zakłady Lotnicze Sp. z o.o.
The technical dialogue is to be carried out between July and December 2020, with entities accepted within the procedure receiving the detailed terms of reference. At the moment we know that the helicopter known as Perkoz is to be able to transport at least 5 fully-equipped troops or up to 1,000 kilograms of cargo in the cabin space.
The new rotary-winged assets would serve the following purposes, in the Polish military:
- Combat support/advanced training;
- Reconnaissance and EW.
Initially, 32 helicopters are expected to be procured, with many more, potentially, to be acquired in a longer run. It needs to be noted that alongside the best-known helicopter manufacturers (Boeing, Bell, Airbus Helicopters, Lockheed-Martin/PZL Mielec, Leonardo/PZL Świdnik) entities that could deliver helicopter components or provide support and procurement process itself also expressed their interest in the dialogue. These entities come both from Poland (PGZ, ITWL, Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation, Works 11), as well as from abroad (Elbit Systems, Cobham Aviation Services UK Ltd.). Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd hailing from India (KAL) also submitted its request.
After the qualification is completed and the approved participants receive detailed RFIs, they would be obliged to provide the Inspectorate with information within the scope listed below:
- The assessment of whether the aircraft offered meet the preliminarily defined requirements;
- Estimates pertaining to the cost of procurement, operation, and withdrawal;
- Procurement timeline estimation;
- Determination of conditions pertaining to delivery, training, and logistics;
- Definition of handing-off and QA procedures pertaining to the military equipment in question;
- The option of maintaining or establishing maintenance and servicing and manufacturing potential, should the task fall within the Basic National Security Interest category.
Perkoz light multi-role helicopter programme is aimed at replacing the Mi-2 platform and to take over some of the missions currently carried out by the W-3 Sokół/Głuszec family, the long term use of which could be uncertain, considering the plausible limited accessibility when it comes to new engines. Furthermore, PZL-Świdnik, the manufacturer of the Sokół platform, also suggested that it would be departing from providing support for the platform in the longer run. Thus, it is quite probable that a platform that would be considerably heavier than the Mi-2 would be acquired. Payload capacity could relevantly exceed the minimum assumptions defined by the Armament Inspectorate.