Initially the tender regarding the helicopters for all armed services of Poland has been publicized on 29th March 2012. Both conditions and scope of the planned deliveries have been changed many times since then.
It was back in September, when MoD stated that the agreement related to the proceedings will be concluded before the end of the year. The offers were to be placed in the third quarter of 2014, however the proceedings have been prolonged, due to the request from the potential contractors. The offer placing deadline has been delayed by 2 months, until 28th November 2014. As MoD spokesperson Jacek Sońta stated, when he was being interviewed by Defence24, more than 800 questions regarding the technical conditions of the contract have been submitted, while two of the bidders requested the final offer placing deadline to be prolonged.
Today, after two another months have passed, MoD spokesperson has come up with a similar information as he did before: “Changes are caused by the need of provision all the time needed by the bidders, in order to properly and accurately prepare their offers. This decision aims at achieving competitive conditions of the tender. Reason for changes is that some bidders expect to have more time needed to prepare the offers"
At the end of October, consortium consisting of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and PZL Mielec has published a statement according to which the companies were not able to place an offer in the tender aiming at procuring multi-role helicopters for the Polish Armed Forces, unless the requirements of the tender are changed. Ministry of National Defence, rejecting the SAC accusations, claimed that other bidders said that they would place their offers “in accordance with the requirements of the Armament Inspectorate” and that the letter is “an element of negotiation tactics”. “In no tender will MoD change the requirements due to the external pressure from the bidder” - as it has been emphasised by MoD in the published press release.
After the SAC release has been published, a statement of the Airbus Helicopters President, Guillaume Faury, has been also presented by the media. In his statement Mr. Faury stressed the fact that he will be ready to place the offer until 28th November. He defined potential delay of the deadline as being “unjust” towards the bidders who “follow the rules”.
Initially the agreement was planned to be signed in the mid-2013, and the decision described above postpones everything to the 2nd quarter of 2015. Taking into account the estimated time needed to execute the order – at least 1.5 – 2 years – the first helicopters will probably be delivered at the beginning of 2017.