Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company and Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ) signed a Letter of Intent 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.