Jaroslaw Adamowski, Defense News
14 October 2016
WARSAW, Poland — In the aftermath of the spat between Poland and France over Warsaw’s decision to cancel the Caracal helicopter deal with Airbus Helicopters, the Polish Defence Ministry is most likely to purchase three A26-class submarines from Sweden’s Saab. France’s DCNS, which pitched its Scorpene-class sub, is no longer considered as the forerunner in Poland’s sub procurement, Defence Ministry sources told pro-government daily Nasz Dziennik. Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, which offers its HDW-class sub, is also regarded as having low chances of securing the contract. The deal is estimated to be worth up to 10 billion zloty (US $2.6 billion). Earlier this month, Poland’s Ministry of Economic Development decided to end its negotiations with Airbus Helicopters, whose Caracal was chosen by the previous government under its transport helo procurement. Since then, relations between Poland and France have remained stringent.
Following Warsaw’s decision, French President Francois Hollande decided to cancel his official visit to Poland, which was scheduled for Oct. 13, and Paris withdrew an invitation to a delegation of Polish officials for the forthcoming Euronaval trade show. In response, Polish Defence Minister Bartosz Kownacki said in a televised interview that while there was no diplomatic war between the two countries, the French “learned to eat with a fork from us several centuries ago, so perhaps this is their way of behaving”. Under its Orka (or Orca) program, the Polish Defence Ministry is aiming to replace the Navy’s outdated Kobben-class subs, which are to be decommissioned by 2021.