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Poland launches Black Hawk helo tender

First showcased at the Farnborough International Airshow in 2016, the armed Black Hawk is now being acquired by the Polish Armed Forces. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Poland has launched a tender for the procurement of Lockheed Martin S-70i Black Hawk helicopters, the Polish Armaments Agency (AA) said on 21 July.

The AA made its announcement weeks after Janes first reported Poland's interest in acquiring domestically built armed Black Hawk helicopters on 7 June.

“The procurement procedure for multirole S-70i Black Hawk helicopters for the Aeromobile forces has begun. An invitation to negotiate was sent today. The Black Hawk will be able to co-operate with the currently acquired from WSK PZL-Świdnik [Leonardo] AW149 and the [Boeing] AH-64E Apache planned to be acquired,” the AA said.

The announcement did not disclose prospective numbers, but Lockheed Martin told Janes and other media during a visit to the PZL Mielec facility in southern Poland that the country's armed forces is looking at ordering approximately 32 helicopters.

“I think there is still a place for the Black Hawk [within Poland's wider helicopter procurement plans], given the nature of how the Polish MND [Ministry of National Defence] envisions using the upcoming Apache – US forces use the Apache with the Black Hawks [operating alongside]. Also, there are two Polish OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] building helicopters [in PZL Mielec and Leonardo's PZL-Świdnik], and the Polish government has to support both of them,” Marek Chojecki, sales and business development manager at Lockheed Martin's PZL Mielec Polish subsidiary said at the time.

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