Procurement Polish style

Defence procurement is hardly known for its swiftness. For those of us who cover the sector for a living, the mysterious machinations of military acquisition help to keep us gainfully employed.

Nevertheless, it can be frustrating watching taxpayer dollars being all too easily squandered on programmes that take years to introduce any meaningful capability, if at all.

In the helicopter sector, there have been some shockingly wasteful examples of this in recent years (at this point Australia, Canada and the US should be among those staring guiltily at the floor).

So it was with some surprise that only six weeks after Poland declared that Airbus Helicopter H225M Caracal as the front-runner for the country’s utility helicopter tender, the army has already completed the verification checks on the aircraft.

caracal

A ceremony to mark the Caracal’s successful completion of the tests will be held on 27 May at the 33rd Airlift Base in Powidz.

According to the Polish Ministry of Defence: ‘The procedure was to verify the parameters indicated in the proceedings as critical: minimum performance; on-board equipment; construction of helicopter to aviation standards. The tests included helicopter flights, checks on the ground, as well as analysis of the documentation of the machine.’

All eyes now turn to Poland’s tender for 32 attack helicopters to replace the Russian-made Mil Mi-24 Hind models currently in its inventory with a decision also expected this year.

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