Israeli firms forced to pull out of Polish drones deal
PR dla Zagranicy
Israeli media: Two arms manufacturers bidding for contracts with Poland's defence ministry have been denied export licenses, following the resignation of Poland's deputy defence minister.
Elbit Systems Hermes 450 - the firm exports to the US, France, Italy, UK ... but not drones to Poland.: photo - wikipedia
Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries have been told by the Israeli government not to bid for contracts, worth 150 million USD, to supply Poland with unmanned drone aircraft, accusing the companies of "unbridled competition" that led to the resignation of deputy defence minister General Waldemar Skrzypczak last November, Haaretz reports.
Skrzypczak stood down after it was leaked to Polish media that he had told an executive from Elbit Systems eight months ago that they would clinch the deal with the defence ministry, during a period when the bidding process was still underway.
Both Israeli firms confirmed that they have been denied export licenses but declined to comment further.
The Israeli government is reported to think that the ruthless competition between the two firms was harming Israeli-Polish relations.
The Israeli deal was favoured in Warsaw as being the best value - over too expensive US offers - as part of the ongoing modernization of the Polish armed forces, TVN24 reports. (pg)