Poland Eyes Procurement of Training Helicopters

Poland helicopters
PZL SW-4 (Image credit: Wikimedia/Cezary_P)

Poland seeks a training system in anticipation of growth of its helicopter fleets.

The Armament Agency of the Polish MoD announced on Jan. 16, 2024, that a market research consultation will be launched with the aim of acquiring an integrated helicopter pilots training system. This requirement is probably dictated by the fact that the Polish MoD has recently made major procurements in the rotary-wing domain, and more acquisitions are on the way (including the purchase of up to 96 AH-64 Apaches).

Poland, in the recent years, procured 4x AW101 Merlins for the Navy, 8x S-70i Black Hawks, and 32x AW149s – mainly as replacements of the legacy aircraft. Hence the necessity to establish a modernized training system for the helicopter pilots, so that the Polish Air Force is able to conduct training domestically, without outsourcing it.

The release issued by the Polish MoD’s procurement organ states that the market research consultancy process is to cover the matter of the option of procuring a comprehensive training system consisting of the elements as follows:

  • 24 helicopters configured in a manner that would allow for weapons training;
  • A comprehensive training system, including simulators and trainers;
  • Logistics support package;
  • Material support package;
  • Training package;
  • Tailoring or establishment of relevant support infrastructure for the aforesaid assets.

The market consultancy process is scheduled to take place between Feb. 14 and Mar. 15, 2024.

At the moment, the Polish Air Force operates the PZL SW-4 Puszczyk and legacy Mi-2 Hoplites in the training role. The potential bidders who could offer relevant training platforms for the Polish helicopter pilots include Airbus Helicopters (with the H145M – promoted in Poland for quite some time now, when it comes to thje light helicopter requirement; notably the type is also operated by Polish HEMS), and Leonardo Helicopters (with its AW109 platform, demonstrated during this year’s edition of Radom Air Show, and the MSPO event in Kielce). Other bids cannot be ruled out – Bell may be a serious contender in the process as well.

About Jacek Siminski
Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of DefensePhoto.com. Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media communications.