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Poland buys three new engines for its MiG-29 fighter jets

WARSAW, (BM) – Poland’s most extensive military production airline WZL 2 S.A., signed contracts worth $8 million million with the 3rd Regional Logistics Base for the supply of three RD-33 Series 2 turbojet engines for the MiG-29 fighters currently in service with the Polish Armed Forces, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing Defence24.

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The decision for awarding three separate orders for used RD-33 ser engines. 2 is dated November 20, 2020. It shall be applied for copies after the overhaul with full-service life between the renovation of not less than 350 hours of flight time and the remaining technical service life of not less than 700 hours. It requires to provide a warranty for all products [both the engines themselves and the consumables and tools] for at least 24 months or 200 hours of operation [whichever is earlier]. The guarantee begins from the date of signing the acceptance-transfer protocol.

Each of the drive units must be stored by the engine documentation for not less than two years and have crates or transport containers. Besides, each engine must have a set of specialized tools and consumables [disposable, i.e., seals, washers, split pins, etc.] under the manufacturer’s filling, which ensures the installation of the glider.

The contract was divided into three separate procedures. A separate agreement was concluded for each engine, each worth $2,6 million excluding VAT. WZL 2 S.A. makes all deliveries in Bydgoszcz. Still, the work will be carried out with the Warsaw infrastructure’s help, which previously belonged to the Military Aviation Plant № 4, specializing in aircraft engine repair. In November last year, a decision was made to merge the two companies and take over WZL-4 from WZL 2 S.A. and all certificates and competencies; therefore, the contractor is the last company.

Modernization of the Polish Mi-24 attack helicopters continues

The modernization of the Polish Mi-24 attack helicopters continues, as we reported back in September this year, according Col. Waldemar Bogusławski, Deputy Head of the Armament Inspectorate for Aviation and Maritime Technology.

“Only the weapon system and the display system will be modernized in the Mi-24. We have completed the analysis in this regard and we are waiting for the final assessment of the Basic State Security Interest” said Col. Waldemar Bogusławski during Defence24 Day. This means that the implementation of this decades-delayed program to restore the ability to combat armored vehicles by attack helicopters has a chance of accelerating.

This declaration was made by Col. Bogusławski from the IU during the panel “Development of the Polish Army helicopter fleet.” Challenges and Prospects is quite fundamental for the operational capabilities of the Land Forces aviation. It also indicates that this program was considered a priority because the analytical and conceptual phase and technical dialogues can last for many years. In the case of the modernization of Mi-24 helicopters, the procedure was launched in January last year, a month later the list of 15 participants of the dialogue was known and, as can be seen, until September this year. the dialogue procedure was closed.

Simultaneously with the dialogue, in September 2019, fatigue tests of the Mi-24D hull structure were started at PZL-Świdnik, which are aimed at “confirming the fatigue durability ensuring the performance of 5 500 flight hours and 14 000 landings” – as we read in the contract description. It is about determining whether the structure of the Mi-24D and Mi-24W helicopters will be operational long enough for their modernization to be justified.

This means that while work related to the preparation of the modernization of the Mi-24 helicopters in the scope specified by IU may be carried out, the conclusion of the contract will probably be possible next year, and the delivery of modernized machines in 2-3 years.

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On the one hand, this is good news, because the modernization can proceed quickly, as long as the work is not stopped by procedural issues, such as the Ministry of National Defense, which can take years to determine whether there is a Basic State Security Interest in a given case. Undoubtedly, it would be beneficial to carry out the work quickly.

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