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06:06 AM, December 3, 2016
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Poland Initiates Tender For 14 Army Helicopters
Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk

Polish government has initiated a tender to purchase 14 helicopters as part of urgent operational requirement of the armed forces.

Having taken this move, the ministry said that Poland would be spending all the funds allocated in the state budget this year to upgrade its armed forces, Reuters reported Thursday.

However, notably the NATO member had recently cancelled a preliminary contract for purchasing 50 caracal helicopters from France’s Airbus.

"The Ministry of Defence plans to spend over 61 billion zlotys ($14.5 billion) on the programme of technical modernisation (of the armed forces) in the years 2017-2022," the ministry said.

On the other hand, Critics are of the opinion that cancelling the 13.5 billion zloty (3.4 billion) Airbus deal would mean Poland could fail to spend all the funds allocated to modernize army. Moreover, it could also face short of the NATO target of spending at least 2 percent of output on defence.

"Out of this, over 24 billion zlotys will be spent within the next three years," the ministry said. "Additionally, spending on army modernization not included in the technical modernisation programme will reach about 17 billion zlotys."

After scrapping the Airbus deal, Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said it would buy two Black Hawk helicopters from the Sikorsky Aircraft Corp's factory in Poland this year and eight helicopters from the plant next year.

Later in October, the ministry said it had invited Airbus, Lockheed Martin's Sikorsky subsidiary and Leonardo-Finmeccanica for talks about buying army helicopters.

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