On July 18, 2017 Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ) and Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to cooperate on the UH-1Y. This signing is in addition to the LOI signed for the AH-1Z in 2016 – further expanding business relationships between Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa and Bell Helicopter.
Based on this LOI, Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa and Bell Helicopter will expand potential areas of cooperation related to Poland’s future utility helicopter needs with the UH-1Y. In addition, this document also identifies the AH-1Z in support of the “Kruk” Program, an effort on the part of Poland’s government to acquire attack helicopters included in the modernisation plan of the polish Armed Forces.
Pursuant to the LOI, Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa and Bell Helicopter will have discussions regarding the knowledge that may be transferred from the American partner to Polish companies in the arms industry, as well as the possible scope of production and maintenance work which PGZ Group companies may be allowed to perform autonomously if the Ministry of National Defence purchases Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters and Bell UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters.
“The Letter of Intent that has been signed gives Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa an opportunity to implement world-class helicopter technologies in our factories. I am glad that PGZ Group has taken another step in its business relations with Bell, which will hopefully continue to grow stronger and stronger in the future. Equipping the Polish Armed Forces with state-of-the-art utility and attack helicopters is one of the priorities in the plan to modernize the Polish army. It is our goal to provide the Polish Armed Forces with top-class equipment, which significantly increases Poland’s defence capabilities,” said Błażej Wojnicz, President of the Management Board of PGZ S.A.
"We strongly believe this step with PGZ provides a solid basis for further relationships and shows Bell Helicopter’s commitment to supporting Poland’s military objectives and desire for industry growth. Being the newest attack and utility helicopters available on the market, the H-1 program gives our potential industry partners such as PGZ significant area for cooperation,” said Vice President of International Military Business for Bell Helicopter Rich Harris. “The AH-1Z and UH-1Y together provide a common strength that offers the most effective and efficient means of accomplishing the missions in Poland.”
The AH-1Z Viper shares 85% commonality of major components with Bell Helicopter’s UH-1Y Venom utility rotorcraft, enhancing deployability and maintainability, while reducing training requirements and the logistical footprint between the two platforms and ultimately lowering total life cycle costs in terms of acquisition, operations, maintenance and support. The AH-1Z and the UH-1Y are the latest generation of aircraft which extends the more than 80-year history of Bell Helicopter, the company that invented the attack and utility helicopters and has more combat flight hours than any OEM.
The AH-1Z attack helicopter as well as UH-1Y utility helicopter are currently operated by the U.S. Marine Corps in some of the world’s harshest conditions and are environmentally hardened to the most stringent of military requirements, making the advanced aircraft reliable and easy to maintain, thriving in both land and sea based environments. The US Marine Corps employs the most advanced weapons and sensors to ensure a “see first, shoot first” battlefield strategy.
About Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa
PGZ is the leader of the Polish industry and one of the largest defence firms in Europe. It brings together 60 companies (defence, shipyard, new technology sectors) and generates annual revenues at the level of PLN 5 billion. Thanks to the potential of technology polonisation, strict cooperation with Polish scientific environment and emphasis on the research and development process PGZ offers innovative products which improve the safety. Among other things PGZ offers a very short range air defence system with a PODRAD set and SOŁA radar; a portable GROM antiaircraft; a system of unmanned E-310 aircrafts; ROSOMAK wheeled armoured vehicle; self-propelled tracked KRAB howitzer; BERYL soldier individual equipment with BERYL rifle. PGZ also is competent in designing, construction and equipment of the ships. Furthermore, PGZ is modernising and servicing the vehicles, airplanes, helicopters, ships (as well as the former USSR equipment). In the years to come PGZ will develop space, satellite and cyber technologies.
About Bell Helicopter
Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.
About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Textron Off Road, Arctic Cat, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training. For more information, visit www.textron.com.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the risk that letters of intent will not result in sales of aircraft; changes in government regulations or policies on the export and import of military and commercial products; changes in foreign military funding priorities or budget constraints and determinations, volatility in the global economy or changes in worldwide political conditions that adversely impact demand for our products; and performance issues with key suppliers or subcontractors.