Poland has invited three firms that took part in a previous tender for new preliminary talks on supplying helicopters to the country’s armed forces.
Beata Perkowska, deputy director of the Polish defence ministry’s Operations Centre, said the talks “relate to the purchase of helicopters as part of an urgent operational need reported by the Polish Armed Forces."
She added that PLN 1 billion (about $254 million—Ed.)has been earmarked for the purchase. Perkowska did not say how many helicopters would be bought.
In a move that caused tensions with France, Poland earlier this month announced that negotiations over a PLN 13.4 bln purchase of 50 Caracal multi-role choppers from French-based Airbus Helicopters had ended.
The previous Civic Platform-led government had decided to purchase the 50 helicopters from Airbus in April 2015. It rejected rival offers from PZL Mielec, owned by US firm Lockheed Martin, and PZL Świdnik, owned by Italy’s Leonardo.
The decision to purchase from a French firm met with domestic criticism at the time.
Poland’s Law and Justice government indicated that it might cancel the deal after winning elections in October 2015.
Perkowska said on Tuesday the previous proceedings had favoured one company "to the extent that the then-Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak made illegal changes to the initial technical and tactical assumptions."
Siemoniak rejected the claims.
Perkowska added that there had been efforts “to sell Poland the Caracal at a higher price than to Brazil and Kuwait."