Polish military seeks new trainer planes

June 10, 2011 at 2:36 PM

WARSAW, Poland, June 10 (UPI) -- The Polish Defense Ministry announced a tender for 16 training aircraft to replace those in use by the Polish air force.

The Polish air force deploys TS-11 Iskra trainers manufactured by Poland's PZL Mielec, World Aeronautical Press Agency reported Friday.

The tender calls for the successful bidder's new aircraft to be equipped with fly-by-wire flight control systems, long-range radar and anti-jamming capabilities and the new trainers must be capable of carrying laser-guided Paveway II and Mk82 bombs.

The Polish government has budgeted $450 million for the new aircraft and related maintenance services.

Firms bidding on the tender include Italy's Alenia Aermacchi, putting forward its M-346 "Master" plane; British BAE Systems with its Hawk AJT trainer; the joint-venture Korea Aerospace Industries-Lockheed Martin T-50P; the Czech Republic's Aero Vodochody offering the L-159T1 aircraft; and the Finnish manufacturer Patria promoting its Hawk Mk51/51A.

Tender conditions state the first eight trainers would be delivered by Nov. 30, 2014, with another eight aircraft scheduled for delivery by 2016, after which the first batch will be reconfigured for use in combat missions.

The deadline for the bids is July 29.

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