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Industry

Airbus drops arbitration with Poland

23 May 2018
Poland was to procure the H225M in 2015, but withdrew from the contract following a change in government. Source: Airbus Helicopters/Anthony Pecchi

Key Points

  • Following a recent Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) case precedent, Airbus has dropped its arbitration with Poland over the failed 2015 H225M deal
  • While the company will continue to appeal the decision, the CJEU case creates problems for the arbitration process

Airbus has dropped its request for arbitration with Poland over the failed sale of 70 H225M helicopters after a recent precedent over bilateral investment treaties created concerns over jurisdiction.

Poland’s General Prosecutor’s Office said that a letter had been lodged by Airbus Helicopters and Airbus on 15 May to withdraw the request for arbitration that had been initiated by Airbus in late December.

The arbitration process had been in its initial stages, with Poland and Airbus both appointing representatives to the panel. An independent panel member had yet to be appointed.

An Airbus spokesperson told Jane’s on 23 May that following a recent decision in the CJEU, the company intended to continue to seek a remedy to the dispute with Poland.

“This is a withdrawal without prejudice, meaning that Airbus Helicopters reserves all its rights and will pursue its claims in front of the Polish courts,” the spokesperson said.

Poland’s medium helicopter competition had originally sought 70 medium lift helicopters to replace the country’s Mil Mi-8/17 and Mi-14 inventories. This was later reduced to 50, with the helicopters to fulfil a range of roles including multirole transport, combat search-and-rescue, anti-submarine warfare, medical evacuation, and special operations.

Following a competition between the Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk, Airbus H225M Caracal, and PZL Swidnik AW149, the H225M was selected in April 2015.

Airbus had sought to offer Poland significant research and development, workshare, and supply chain opportunities as part of its bid for the programme.

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