Contract for the purchase of M-28 for the Polish Army in 2008.

Kraków 2011-06-29

Contract for the purchase of further M-28 Bryza aircraft for the Polish Army in 2008.

Subjective article.

PZL M-28 nb 0204. 2019 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
PZL M-28 nb 0204. 2019 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Analyzing the matter of signing the contract for another 12 M-28 Bryza aircraft for the Polish Army, we have to go back to 2003. At that time, the contract for the delivery of CASA C-295 M transport aircraft was carried out, and a contract for multi-role combat aircraft F-16 was concluded. .

This second contact was to be accompanied by a huge offset. Unfortunately, in the Polish post-communist reality it became only a propaganda tool. We couldn't use it well.

We were unable to make the final assembly of the F-16 in Poland, which was not impossible. Renovations of F-16 in Poland are still unrealistic, and talks on this topic have been sluggish for 8 years. First of all, the offset did not contain practically what we call "know-how", i.e. the transfer of modern technologies.

Let's read what on November 10, 2006 said Bronisław Komorowski, from Platforma Obywatelska, deputy speaker of the Sejm (and currently, the President of the Republic of 2011) - "The offset agreement concluded with the purchase of F-16 aircraft did not improve anything in the Polish economy. "This is a great opportunity lost." "- The aircraft purchase agreement is accompanied by an offset agreement, which is due to the fault of the leftist government so that it allows them not to comply with the offset declaration. This agreement was badly negotiated and poorly signed, "said Bogusław Komorowski.

But there is something very interesting. Let's read what on July 31, 2000. (that is, while negotiations on the choice of aircraft were underway), Bronisław Komorowski, then the Minister of National Defense, also said - "There will be no aircraft, it will lose the arms industry. It will lose because abandoning the purchase of a multipurpose aircraft would mean losing orders for $ 1.5 billion and the inevitable collapse of many businesses. " (A small explanation here. There is $ 1.5 billion, because it was a 50% contract that could only be invested in the arms sector at this stage.) And what? There was a contract and the defense industry lost, and Mr. Bronisław Komorowski still participated in the negotiations.

When in 2007 Deputy Prime Minister Roman Gierdych tried to lead, although to the forum on offset, if not renegotiation, he was laughed at by Polish-language media.

What did we get in the offset? Only a few specifics were obtained from all this mash. WSK PZL Mielec - promotion and sale of Skytruck and Dromader aircraft on the US market. WSK Rzeszów - Pratt & Whitney engine components for our F-16. WSK PZL Świdnik - promotion and sale of W-3 and SW-4 on the US market.

The Americans took over the WSK PZL Rzeszów plant. Only that now the Polish Army must buy helicopter parts and engines at prices several times higher. The new owner also refused to produce gears for the Polish SW-4 helicopter. Their production had to be placed in Świdnik, which increased costs.

Here we come to the main merits of this article. So M-28 aircraft.

At that time (2004), the plans were very ambitious. About 100 machines were officially discussed, with prospects for the next. Unfortunately, the future turned out to be much worse. Until 2008, PZL M-28 aircraft sold poorly. Only a dozen or so copies were sold abroad; USA, Venezuela, Colombia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Nepal.

The project, which was supposed to consist in Lockheed Martin's help in exporting 100 M-28 Skytruck aircraft, ended in a fiasco. The Americans secured the right to the name Skytruck, and thus blocked the sale of these aircraft. Instead, in December 2006, the Mielec plant was bought for repayment of debt to the Industrial Development Agency by the American helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky.

The penultimate PZL M-28 aircraft were delivered to the Polish Army in 2001. Another 5 PZL M-28 machines were ordered in 2006. The end of service of the outdated An-2 aircraft was inexorable. An-26 aircraft were withdrawn from the Polish Air Force in 2007 - 2008.

Purchase of more An-28 aircraft for the Polish Armed Forces should be inevitable. The contract for 12 new M-28 aircraft was concluded in 2008. The order was for planes in various varieties. We should be pleased that the Polish Army buys aircraft produced in Poland, if not for some important reservations.

These aircraft were not included in the list of planned purchases of goods and services of the Department of Supplying Armed Forces of the Ministry of National Defense in 2008. This list is developed on the basis of the approved Technical Modernization Plan of the Polish Armed Forces in the years 2008 - 2009. The contract was signed without an appropriate tender. The government of the liberal Prime Minister Donald Tusk claimed that only Mielec (?) Produces such machines.

The aircraft manufacturer (no longer the Polish company WSK PZL Mielec, because it was taken over by United Technologies Holdings) was supported by a high official of the Polish Ministry of National Defense. So no lobbying allowed. Purchase of aircraft already in service in the Polish Army seems reasonable if the price were reasonable. It wasn't like that. After the takeover of PZL Mielec by a foreign manufacturer, suddenly the price of aircraft increased drastically. Rzeczpospolita paid PLN 211.5 million for 8 C-295 M aircraft, while Poland had to pay PLN 635 million (PLN 52.92 million per unit) for 12 M-28 B / PT aircraft. Amounts in 2008 comparable. In 2006, for five M-28 aircraft, the Polish budget paid PLN 136 million (PLN 27.20 million per item). In two years, the price of M-28 doubled; from PLN 27.20 million to PLN 52.92 million. It is worth noting that in 2006, the amount of 27 million already raised reservations.

This is not all. In 2008, foreign recipients paid less than PLN 30 million for the M-28. Then why should the Polish Army pay over PLN 50 million? Defense Minister Bogdan Klich said that the airport equipment package and the training of 36 staff are included in the price. Does this mean that planes were sold to foreign customers to put them on the shelf? It is even stranger that some foreign customers bought the first machines and we only buy. Mr. Bogdan Klich also said that the aircraft will receive expensive defense equipment. And at the same time he stated that they would fly in the country. I am pleased with the minister's concern about our pilots, but are they facing rocket fire in Poland?

Let's add another matter to this. The Plan of Technical Modernization of the Polish Armed Forces in the years 2008–2009 included the purchase of two multi-purpose transport and refueling aircraft (MRTT) necessary for the Polish Army. PLN 450 million was guaranteed for this purpose. However, the government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk deleted this program. The effect is that the Polish Air Force begs allies for the possibility of training F-16 Jastrząb pilots in air refueling. Why buy planes with this function? There has been silence in MRTT since 2008.

In 2009, allegedly due to the global financial crisis (although Prime Minister Donald Tusk claimed that we are a green island), huge cuts were made in the Ministry of National Defense. Contract for 12 M-28 aircraft was reduced to 8 machines. Among other things, two VIP planes were abandoned. Mathematics shows that the budget should pay around PLN 424 million. But none of this. Poland paid about PLN 500 million, or PLN 62.50 million for one aircraft. Gentlemen have intervened on this subject many times; Roman Gierdych, Ludwik Dorn and others. But to no avail. That was the cheap state of Prime Minister Donald Tusk. Currently (2011) we are waiting for the change of the Government of the Republic of Poland. A worse government cannot be.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman