Czech Ministry of Defence has signed a framework agreement, related to support required to operate the W-3A Sokół helicopters, which are still being operated by the Czech Army. Realization of this memorandum shall make it possible to prolong the operational lifetime of the rotorcraft for yet another ten years.
The Agreement signed between the PZL Świdnik company and the Czech Ministry of Defence was concluded in presence of the Polish and Italian Ambassadors in the Czech Republic - Grażyna Bernatowicz and Aldo Amati. The value of the framework memorandum is estimated as CZK 991 million (ca. PLN 155 million). The agreement is going to keep its validity until 2021.
On the basis of that Agreement, PZL Świdnik company is going to provide complex support for all 10 W-3A Sokół helicopters that are operated by the Czech Armed Forces. Moreover, eight of the helicopters are going to undergo general overhauls. All of the above procedures will make it possible to extend the service lifetime of the Czech Sokół helicopters for another ten years.
The announcement of the Czech Ministry of Defence stresses the fact that support, provided by PZL Świdnik, also includes procurement of the spare parts, crew trainings, updated documentation or execution of unplanned repairs. The payments will be realized according to quantity of the executed works.
PZL W-3A Sokół helicopters have been used by the Czech Armed forces since the 1990s. They are still being operated, realizing the transport operations, MEDEVAC sorties, as well as within the scope of supporting the rescue operations related to natural catastrophes, including floods.
Czech authorities had announced that they are willing to maintain the Sokół helicopters’ operational status. Secondly, there is a will to increase the number of the helicopters that are to be acquired additionally – ultimately 30-35 rotary-winged aircraft are going to be purchased, in order to replace the Soviet/Russian made Mi-24W and Mi-8/17 helicopters. Prague also decided to increase the level of defence spending, which is going to make it possible to expand the scope of procurement.