A Tiger Helicopter in production at Airbus Helicopters in Germany. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

Poland now ponders on attack helicopters

Poland’s hesitation when it concerns miltary helicopters must drive manufacturers out of their minds, and Airbus Helicopters especially. The company saw a 3 billion USD deal for H225M Caracal choppers fall through earlier this year and now wants Poland to select the Tiger as its new attack helicopter. Best cards are for the AH-64 Apache and AH-1Z Viper, however.

Airbus Helicopters is ‘laying the groundwork’ for future Tiger production in Poland in the same way it has been doing with the Caracal, says a statement released on Thursday 28 April. The European company taps into the fact that disagreements over off sets eventually caused the Caracal to largely collapse.

Poland doesn’t seem to have much eye for the Airbus Helicopter offer and mostly looks at the AH-64 Apache or AH-1Z Viper as its new attack helo. The former would be locally built by PZL Swidnik, while the latter could be produced by PZL Mielec.

Warsaw has a history troublesome history when it comes to selecting helicopters, however. A long process led to the selection of the Caracal as the country’s new combat search and rescue (CSAR) platform… until it was decided to look at other contenders once again.

Meanwhile, classic Mi-8 Hip transport helicopters soldier on and ageing Mi-24 Hind helicopters keep fulfilling the attack role.

The struggle could be associated with the fact that Poland also modestly produces helicopters on its own.  PZL Swidnik furthermore is tied to AgustaWestLan, while PZL Mielec is involved with Sikorysky.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A Tiger Helicopter in production at Airbus Helicopters in Germany. (Image © Elmer van Hest)