Poland may stall plans to buy $3bn EC-725 Caracal helicopters from Airbus


The Polish Ministry of Defence (MoD) may stall plans to buy $3bn worth of helicopters from Airbus.

Polish Deputy Defence Minister Bartosz Kownacki was quoted by Reuters as saying: I can't say that the final assessment of the (industrial) offset negotiations will be negative, but considering how big the differences are, it is very likely that an agreement will not be reached.

"We are not allergic to the French, but to not utilising the capacity of the Polish (defence) industry.

"We'd have to get really as much as possible from the French side to make this contract profitable for us."

"We'd have to get really as much as possible from the French side to make this contract profitable for us."

The provisional deal, which was approved by the previous Polish Government, was part of the nation's $40bn worth military modernising efforts aimed at improving the military capabilities of its armed forces.

The deal, which would see Airbus delivering up to 50 EC-725 Caracal multi-purpose helicopters to the nation, was supposed to conlcude early next month.

Sikorsky and AgustaWestland had also competed for the contract.

Powered by two Turbomeca Makila 2A turboshaft engines, each providing 1,800kW of power, the aircraft is capable of performing a wide range of missions: tactical troop transport, special operations, search-and-rescue, combat search-and-rescue, maritime surveillance, humanitarian support logistic ground support, medical evacuation and shipborne operations.

Currently, Kazakhstan, Indonasia, Malaysia and Thailand operate the EC 725 aircraft.