Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak confirmed on 8 September that he has sent the United States a request for an offer to acquire 96 Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters for Polish army aviation. In the report, the minister also mentioned the possibility of obtaining technology transfer from the aircraft.
“Another good news! We sent an inquiry to the USA regarding the acquisition of 96 AH-64E APACHE helicopters in the latest GUARDIAN version for the needs of the Aviation of the Land Forces. Along with helicopters, we will also obtain technology transfer,” the Polish minister wrote on Twitter.
Although he has not yet confirmed the purchase of the helicopters, Błaszczak’s statement may have ended the definition phase of the “Kruk” program for acquiring helicopters for the Polish army. Other options evaluated were the Airbus Tiger, Bell AH-1Z Viper and the TAI T-129 ATAK (Turkish version of the AgustaWestland A129 Mangusta).
Initially, the Kruk program provided for the purchase of 32 attack helicopters to replace the old Polish Mil Mi-24s, of Russian origin. Now, with the intention of acquiring almost 100 aircraft, it is thought that the Polish Army is also planning to exchange the locally produced PZL W-3 Sokół models and the Mi-2 models for the Apache.
Responding to the Polish Ministry of Defense, Boeing reported that “it is honored the Government of Poland has selected the AH-64E Apache for the Polish Armed Forces’ new attack helicopter fleet. An Apache selection strengthens U.S-Polish military ties by enhancing interoperability and cooperation between Poland, the U.S. Army and NATO nations.”