Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said at the signing that the contract with PZL Mielec, a Poland-based aviation producer owned by US defence giant Lockheed Martin, marked an important day for the Polish armed forces.
Morawiecki told those at the ceremony in the southeastern town of Mielec that through deals like this his conservative government aimed to strengthen national security and develop the country economically.
“This is a very important day for us because through such purchases, such actions, we not only strengthen the NATO alliance, national security and the safety of the Polish skies, but also make our industry stronger," Morawiecki said.
He added that the government order for the Black Hawk helicopters testified to the “efficiency and strength of the Polish state” and to Poland carrying out its obligations as a NATO ally.
Morawiecki said the purchase was important for the country’s southeastern Podkarpacie region where the PZL Mielec plant is located, but also for the country as a whole.
Thanks to the order placed by the government many Polish companies will be able to provide supplies for the plant, Morawiecki said, adding that the Black Hawk helicopters were manufactured in Mielec from scratch.
Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, who signed the PLN 683.4 million (EUR 159 million, USD 181 million) contract with PZL Mielec CEO Janusz Zakręcki, said the four S-70i Black Hawk helicopters would be delivered to the Polish army by December.
He hailed the helicopter as “a great product" and said that it was manufactured in Poland by an experienced team of workers.
He also said the helicopters would strengthen the Polish military because they would increase “the combat capabilities of our soldiers."
The choppers supplied by PZL Mielec will be used by troops including Poland’s GROM special forces unit, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
The Polish government also plans to buy naval and attack helicopters for the army to replace worn-out post-Soviet Mi-24 machines, the news agency reported.
Source: IAR/PAP, TVP Info