One of the Ukraine’s leading engine companies – Motor Sich, is negotiating assembly of Mi-2 and Sokol helicopters in Poland. This may be the first step towards creation of production base for Ukrainian army, ARMS-TASS reports with reference to Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, DGP (Poland).
"Motor Sich is negotiating with PZL Swidnik owned by AgustaWestland on the assembly of Mi-2 and Sokol helicopters. Cooperation in other areas of the military-industrial sector is also possible", - the source noted.
According to the newspaper, the parties have already agreed on creating working groups responsible for analyzing the project’s feasibility. At the same time the company declined to comment on the matter.
The source also noted that the cooperation between companies may be of political importance. "Ukraine, which is in conflict with Russia, may start creating the production base for its army within our territory. Other companies may also be involved in the cooperation, for example, ITWL or WZL-1. As a result the following helicopters may be upgraded in the network of this project: Mi-8, Mi-17, Mi-24 or SWS-3", - the source reports.
Moscow-based representative office of Motor Sich declined to comment on the information and promised to comment on the situation at “HeliRussia-2014” exhibition to be held in May.
Meanwhile, according to DGP, the Polish experts approve the cooperation with Ukraine. They said that Mi-2 helicopters are being operated in 20 countries of the world (mostly in former Soviet Union countries). Since 1965 the helicopter has been manufactured only by WSK (Poland). More than 5500 vehicles of the type have been manufactured over the period of 20 years.
It was also noted that PZL Swidnik and PZL Mielec have a vast experience in cooperating with foreign partners, which privatized them and granted technical re-equipping and access to state-of-the-art technologies. Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation became the major investor and owner of PZL Mielec in 2007. PZL Swidnik became the part of AgustaWestland in 2010.
Since the start of cooperation with PZL Mielec Sikorsky has invested over $125 million in the Polish enterprise. These funds were allocated for upgrade of the enterprise, introduction of advanced management processes and implementation of research programs. As for PZL Swidnik, the Italian company plans to invest $759 million in the enterprise over the period until 2016. PZL Mielec manufactured the first multi-role transport helicopter S-70i Black Hawk only three years after the signing of the privatization agreement. While PZL Swidnik is manufacturing AW149 helicopters and it has also assembled the first prototype of SW-4 Solo RUAS/OPH UAV, DGP reports.
Both companies expect the Polish government to take some response measures; in particular, they expect to win new orders in the network of a tender for delivery of new helicopters to the Polish armed forces. The tender assumes delivery of 70 vehicles: 48 multi-role and transport helicopters for the army, 10 search-and-rescue vehicles (SAR) for the air forces, 6 anti-submarine (ASW) and 6 search-and-rescue ones for the navy, the source added.
Taking into account the costs connected with logistics and personnel training, we can say that this is the Poland’s largest contract since the purchase of F-16 fighters and construction of the country’s anti-ballistic missile system, said one of the Polish military experts.