Poland submitted a request to the United States for the purchase of 96 Apache helicopters as part of its Kruk attack helicopter program, the country’s defense ministry revealed on September 8.
Polish defense minister Mariusz Błaszczak said Poland requested the AH-64E, the latest variant of the Apache, which features a new integrated infrared laser that allows for easier target designation and enhanced infrared imagery which blends both infrared and night vision capabilities.
In addition to communications, navigation, and sensors upgrades, the helicopters feature for the first time a cognitive decision aiding system (CDAS).
The helicopters also feature Link 16 communications, as well as Manned-Unmanned Teaming E\eXpanded (MUMT-X) software designed to allow Apache pilots to directly control other Army unmanned aerial systems, and receive UAS video in the cockpit while directing their flight path and controlling their sensors.
“We want to obtain these helicopters for the Polish Army due to the production capacity, which, unfortunately, is limited. I also asked that the time devoted to the production of helicopters should be filled with leasing helicopters from the US Army equipment. We have begun the conversation process. I hope that these negotiations will be successfully completed shortly,” said defense minister Błaszczak during a meeting with the US defense secretary Lloyd Austin.
“The first airframes will go to the 18th Mechanized Division, which will also be equipped with Abrams tanks. These helicopters work great with Abrams tanks,” the defense minister added.
To remind, Poland is buying 250 M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams main battle tanks from the US, as well as K2 Black Panther tanks and K9 self-propelled howitzers from South Korea.
Boeing, the manufacturer of the Apache helicopters, already welcomed the Polish announcement.
“Boeing 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 US-Polish military ties by enhancing interoperability and cooperation between Poland, the US Army and NATO nations. During the procurement process, Boeing established significant cooperative partnerships across Polish government and industry. Our partnership with the Polish Armaments Group in particular will continue to expand as we implement training and sustainment efforts with local industry,” the company said in a statement.