We will not be influenced by any pressure – Polish MoD’s response to the letter from Sikorsky
President of the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation company has sent a letter to the Polish Minister of Defence, in which he claims that the requirements related to the multi-purpose helicopter acquisition programme may be met only by one of the bidders. The Ministry of Defence, rejecting the claims, informs that the remaining bidders stated that they will place their offers “in accordance with the requirements of the Armament Inspectorate” and that the letter is “an element of the negotiation tactics”. The Ministry of Defence also indicates that it is not being “influenced by any external pressure from potential bidders regarding the requirements of the orders”.
According to „Dziennik Gazeta Prawna”, president of the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Mick Maurer, stated in his letter to Bronisław Komorowski and Minister of Defence, Tomasz Siemoniak, that the American company will not place any offers “until the requirements of the tender are changed”. President of the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation also stated that the requirements are constructed in a way that would make it possible only for a single bidder to meet them.
Col. Jacek Sońta, who is the MoD’s spokesperson, released information according to which the Ministry of Defence knows the contents of the letter sent by the president of the Sikorsky company. He also stated that it is the “ordering Party – Ministry of Defence – is the subject which defines what is needed by the Armed Forces. Bidders are not there to show what they have for sale”. Mr. Sońta has emphasized the fact that the final requirements regarding the helicopters have been known from May this year and that “the SAC company has such helicopters at its disposal in the product range it offers”. Sońta states that according to the MoD’s knowledge, other bidders could place their offers in accordance with the defined requirements.
The Ministry of Defence hopes that Sikorsky will place a bid until 28th November this year anyway, and that the letters sent are an indispensable “element of negotiation tactics”. „Acting in accordance with the best interest of the Armed Forces there is no provision that at request of one of the bidders the tender is revoked or its requirements are changed in a way which would be detrimental for Poland. The Ministry was, and is, open and ready to be involved in an equal dialogue with all of the bidders, but in no proceedings it will adjust its stance to the external pressure from potential contractors, regarding the requirements of the order” - Polish MoD informs.
The proceedings regarding the procurement of 70 multi-role helicopters for the Polish Armed Forces involve the „Program EC725 Caracal Polska” consortium, consisting of Airbus Helicopters and Heli Invest Sp. z o.o. companies, with EC-725 Caracal helicopters, PZL Świdnik company, offering the AW-149 choppers, and Sikorsky International Operations Inc., Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Polish Aviation Works Sp. z o. o. consortium, with Black Hawk Helicopters. In early October information has been released that the offer deadline has been postponed until 28th November 2014. The contract is to be signed at the beginning of the next year. The program assumes that in total 70 helicopters are to be acquired, in transport and multi-purpose, CSAR and ASW variants.