The contract for four Merlin helicopters, announced earlier in the month, has finally been signed.
Poland had earlier signed a £77m agreement relating to the purchase of the AW101 military helicopters, however many had reported this news as a contract to purchase the aircraft. That was not the case.
As we reported at the time, the agreement, signed by Leonardo MW Ltd, in fact provided for establishing critical in-country maintenance capabilities and precedes a contract for the supply of AW101 military helicopters.
The signing of the ‘Offset Agreement’ preceded this contract for the supply of AW101 military helicopters.
Four AW101s and a comprehensive integrated logistics and training package will be supplied with PZL-Świdnik acting as prime contractor. Deliveries are to be completed by 2022 the fleet will perform Anti-Submarine Warfare and combat search and rescue missions.
Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo CEO, said:
“We are proud that the Polish MoD has confirmed its trust in Leonardo as one of its key partners to collaborate on national defence, to support the modernization of the Armed Forces and boost technological and industrial growth. We are committed to further reinforcing our presence and contribution to Poland, one of Leonardo’s home countries where we see significant collaboration opportunities in the future.”
Gian Piero Cutillo, Leonardo Helicopters MD, added:
“The supply of the best-in-class maritime AW101s will allow the Polish Navy to meet its rigorous requirements for the protection of national security in the Baltic Sea and for NATO operations. It will also enable life-saving missions in demanding conditions with second-to-none effectiveness, leveraging Leonardo’s leading role in the maritime helicopter field. Also, the broad scope of industrial collaboration under the Offset Agreement will guarantee secure and independent fleet management.”
Leonardo say that the contract was signed today (Thursday the 26th of April) in the presence of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish Minister of National Defence Mariusz Błaszczak and Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo.