Leonardo‘s UK subsidiary has entered an offset agreement with the Polish Ministry of National Defence for AW101 military helicopters.

The €90m agreement comes ahead of a deal to be signed by the parties for the procurement of AW101 helicopters.

Poland intends to buy four land-based naval helicopters for the Polish Navy to replace the existing Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite models.

The helicopter needs to meet the requirements in supporting anti-submarine warfare and maritime SAR operations.

Leonardo makes the AW101 helicopters at its PZL Swidnik plant in Poland.

The offset agreement will facilitate the establishment of critical in-country maintenance capabilities for the AW101 helicopters and its dedicated mission equipment.

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“The scope of the offset programme fully meets the stringent requirements of the Polish Ministry of National Defence.”

Under the agreement, the maintenance capabilities will be provided by Polish Armaments Group’s (PGZ) Military Aviation Works No.1 in Lodz.

The Gdansk Technical University is also one of the beneficiaries of the offset deal.

In a statement, Leonardo said: “The scope of the offset programme fully meets the stringent requirements of the Polish Ministry of National Defence, confirming Leonardo’s commitment to a solid and long-term cooperation with the Polish Armed Forces and Polish industry for the delivery of relevant capabilities required for the maintenance of modern military equipment, as well as development and sustainment of the necessary skills and experience in the country.”

Last year, Airbus Helicopters pulled out of the tender to supply helicopters for the Polish Navy, citing unfavourable offset requirements, reported DefenseNews.

In February, the AW101 helicopters underwent verification tests as part of a procurement process for helicopters with combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) capabilities and the capacity to carry medical equipment, according to a Defence24 report.