Poland Eyes Seasprite Helicopter Replacement Plan
(Source: Forecast International; posted January 07, 2020)
By Daniel Darling
Poland’s Ministry of Defense is readying a procurement effort aimed at replacing the Polish Navy’s fleet of four Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite helicopters used in the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) role with up to 4-8 multirole models. The project – nicknamed Kondor – will begin with a technical dialogue process expected to be launched by the country’s Armament Inspectorate between May and July.

The Polish requirement is for an ASW-capable helicopter with a maximum takeoff weight of less than 14,300lbs (6,500kgs). Potential candidates include the AW159 from Leonardo and the W-3 Sokol from local PZL Swidnik, which is also a subsidiary of Leonardo Helicopters. Both models would meet the preference of Polish officials for localized workshare and industrial after-sales support which, in turn, support the national defense sector.

Poland remains in the midst of a modernization effort aimed at revamping the armed forces’ Soviet-legacy helicopter fleet. On April 26, 2019, Poland acquired four Leonardo AW101 helicopters at the cost of PLN1.65 billion ($430 million) in an effort to begin replacing the Soviet-designed Mil Mi-14PL ‘Haze’ helicopters that had been set to be retired from Polish Navy service as far back as 2015. These four AW101s are to be delivered by 2022.

The Seasprites are of U.S. manufacture, but are rapidly nearing the end of their useful service lives. They are utilized on the Polish Navy’s Pulaski class (ex-U.S. Navy Oliver Hazard Perry class) frigates.


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