Sikorsky Aircraft has threatened to pull out of the Poland’s multi-purpose helicopter acquisition program unless its conditions are changed, Local Media reported Thursday.
In a letter sent to President Bronislaw Komorowski, the CEO of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (SAC) Mick Maurer claimed that the tender announcement was made in such a way that only one of the participating companies could fulfil the conditions.
The deadline for offers in the tender for 70 multi-task military helicopters announced earlier this year by the Polish Ministry of Defence is November 28. The final results should be available next year. The value of the tender is estimated at 8 billion zloty (1.89 billion euro, $3 billion).
Apart from Sikorsky, which produces Black Hawks, there are two other participants in the tender – French Airbus Helicopters and Agusta Westland PZL Świdnik, which is the Polish arm of the Italian defense industry group.
The ministry believes that the letter is only a negotiation technique that the company is using. The withdrawal of one of the tender participants would make the buyer's position more difficult.
“It is the Ministry of Defence that defines what the armed forces need and not the offerers who point to what they can sell,” the ministry's press officer Jacek Sonta told daily Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.
“The final requirements for the multi-task helicopter were known since May and SAC has helicopters that meet those requirements,” he said. “So we are counting on them placing an offer.”
Sonta stressed that the ministry had no intention of modifying tender conditions or cancelling it