About 15 companies, including Israel's Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries, France’s MBDA, and Italy's Leonardo have bid for tender issued by Polish Ministry of Defence to supply combat UAVs to the country’s armed forces.
The firms have submitted their applications to take part in the technical dialog. DefenseNews reported Friday.
An application was also submitted by local company Stunner Consulting, which represents Israel’s Rafael in the Polish market, reports local news website Defence24.pl.
A number of state-owned and private entities from Poland’s defense industry also aims to take part in the forthcoming drone tender. These comprised the country’s state-run defense firm PGZ, aircraft plant WZL 2, and the Institute of Aviation, as well as a number of privately owned companies that either make UAVs or offer drones made by foreign manufacturers.
These included WB Electronics, Optimum-Tyminski, Belma, Poland-U.S. Operations, Yagal, Asseco Poland and Siltec.
The program to acquire new medium-altitude long-endurance drones for the Polish military is estimated to be worth at least "several billion zloty" (1 zloty is about U.S. $0.25), as announced by Polish Deputy Defence Minister Bartosz Kownacki. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2019.
Last year, senior ministry officials said some of the considered systems include General Atomics’ MQ-9 Reaper and the MQ-1C Gray Eagle, as well as Elbit’s Hermes 900.
In the coming years, the Polish ministry plans to spend at least 83 billion zloty (20.4 billion) on procurements of new weapons and military equipment.