WARSAW Feb 26 The Polish army will this year pick a supplier for 70 battlefield support helicopters, the defence ministry said on Wednesday, confirming an earlier report in the Rzeczpospolita daily newspaper.
"By the end of this year the ministry is going to finally evaluate offers and to pick the producer, " defence ministry spokesman Jacek Sonta said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
According to the paper, the helicopters might be worth around 8 billion zlotys ($2.7 billion).
Interested producers include AugustaWestland, a unit of Italian defence group Finmeccanica, Sikorsky, a unit of United Technologies Corp and Airbus Helicopters, a subsidiary of Airbus Group, the paper said.
The ministry wants to receive the first helicopters in 2016. The army needs machines for multi-tasking transport, search and rescue, sea rescue and antisubmarine operations, Sonta said.
Poland, the sixth biggest EU economy, is planning to spend almost 140 billion zlotys on army modernisation in the coming years.