Polish defence industry exhibits a significant growth potential. Polish army equipment tenders open huge prospects to companies.

2018-10-21  |  05:00

As assessed by Krzysztof Krystowski, Deputy President of the Board of Leonardo Helicopters, the company which owns PZL-Świdnik, the Polish army and defence industry should undergo simultaneous modernisation. The participation of domestic entities in the army equipment tenders announced by the Ministry of National Defence (MON) is a huge opportunity. Given the scale and complexity of such contracts, their implementation will be based on strict cooperation between various Polish companies, with the potential cooperation between PZL-Świdnik and Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (Polish Armaments Group) in building a combat helicopter being an accurate example.

The Polish army and defence industry should undergo simultaneous modernisation, as they constitute two parallel pillars of Poland's defence system. On the one hand, we are dealing with the army and its potential and, on the other hand, with the potential offered by the Polish defence industry. Most countries, including Poland, which seek to attain a position of a major player, must not neglect the development of their own industrial, intellectual and technological potential,stressed Krzysztof Krystowski, Deputy President of the Board of Leonardo Helicopters, the company which owns PZL-Świdnik, in an interview with the Newseria Biznes news agency.

Plants producing military equipment fuel the economy. Developed countries consider the armament industry as a priority area and one of the state's defence pillars. The need to strengthen the armament sector is also stressed in Poland. Based on MON data, in the last two years, out of the two hundred fifty armed forces modernisation contracts (with a total value of approx. PLN 20 bn), one hundred sixty contracts (valued PLN 13 bn) have been concluded with entities operating in the Polish industry.

It‘s essential that complex armament systems be developed in Poland and endorsed by Polish plants, as this is directly connected with national security, stressed Krzysztof Krystowski.

As pointed out by the Deputy President of Leonardo Helicopters, Polish enterprises offer much potential, both in the context of land and air equipment. There are several entities operating on the market, which can compete against leading global companies in terms of technologies and innovations.

The issue is how this potential could be used once the funds for arms development are provided. The idea should be not only to tap it but also foster its development, for instance, with the aim of offering jobs to talented engineers. If we purchase the entire military equipment from foreign businesses, Polish defence sector entities will be reduced to intermediaries. This will hardly make any room for domestic engineers and technologists, or foster the development of Polish technological thought. The above can be ensured only when Poland has a large-scale industry working for Polish army, thus becoming stronger and expanding its exports potential, Krystowski explained.

PZL-Świdnik has been taking part in two MON tenders for the supply of sixteen helicopters in total, including eight for special forces capable of conducting search and rescue missions, and eight aircraft for the Navy, intended to fight down submarines and conduct offshore rescue missions. However, the Ministry has announced that work on changing the assumptions to both tenders is currently in progress.

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