Poland orders more C295s, produces helos

July 6, 2012 at 1:58 PM
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MADRID, July 6 (UPI) -- Poland was in the news in Europe and Asia this week for acquisition of aircraft and delivery of others.

Spain-based Airbus Military reported that the Polish air force had signed a contract for five C295 transports.

The Ministry of Defense of Brunei Darussalam, meanwhile, reported that PZL Mielec, the Polish subsidiary of Sikorsky, had completed the construction of several S-70i baseline Black Hawk helicopters that the country had ordered.

The C295 is a twin-engine turboprop airlifter used by about 13 countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. It can carry about 71 fully equipped troops and more than 20,000 pounds of cargo.

The aircraft's range with a full payload is more than 800 miles.

The latest order by Poland for five C295s will bring the country's C295 fleet to 16.

The aircraft are scheduled to be delivered starting later this year and continuing into next year.

"The C295 is working extremely well with the Polish Air Force and we are proud to have a further vote of confidence from our customer with this new order for a further five aircraft," said Domingo Urena Raso, the chief executive officer of Airbus Military. "We have a very close relationship with Poland also through our Polish subsidiary and we look forward to further expand our footprint in Poland.

"This order also underlines our leadership in this segment with over 110 orders of which 27 orders were placed this year."

Airbus Military's Poland subsidiary is PZL Warszawa Okecie, acquired in 2001. It has two sites, Warsaw and Mielec, and is engaged in the design and manufacturing of light trainer aircraft as well as the manufacture of sub-assemblies for the Airbus Military CN235 and C295.

Specifically, it produces the outer wings for the Airbus Military C295 and CN235.

It is also a regional service center for the planes.

Airbus Military said the C295s ordered by Poland contain a mix of dual technology civil/military equipment and are compatible with the latest civil airspace requirements.

The aircraft being built by PZL Mielec for Brunei are the international version of the UH-60M used by the U.S. Army.

Brunei had ordered 12 of the helicopters last year, together with spare parts, ground support equipment and training.

Brunei said a team from its Ministry of Defense recently conducted an on-site visit to the PZL Mielec facility in Poland to witness the factory acceptance test for Brunei's third baseline S-70i Black Hawk.

The first two baseline aircraft are expected to be inducted into the Sikorsky Military Completions Center in the United States later this year for customization to specific Royal Brunei Armed Forces requirements.

Brunei said the Black Hawks will replace Bell 212 helicopters now in use for air mobility, search and rescue, and surveillance of Brunei's waters and borders.

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