Warsaw will prefer to purchase an older and less reliable American Black Hawk helicopters than French Caracal, a contract for the supply of which was actually broken last week. In response, the French President Francois Hollande has cancelled a visit to Poland. The indignant French advised the poles “not to be offended and not hysteria”. What caused such arrogant attitude of the allies towards each other?
The Minister of foreign Affairs of Poland Witold Waszczykowski called “hysteria” partners from Paris because of the refusal of Poland to buy French helicopters. We are talking about the contract for the purchase of 50 H225M Caracal helicopters from Airbus Helicopters.
“The current Polish government is looking very dismissive of the European Union in General and France in particular”
France, we recall, won the tender, competing with Italian and American competitors. The deal was estimated at more than $ 3 billion and was to become one of the largest in the framework of the program of modernization of the Polish army. However, in August it became known about the intention of Poland to terminate the contract. On 4 October, the Ministry of development of Poland has officially announced the abandonment of the procurement of helicopters. In Paris, however, the arguments of the poles believe false.
French President Francois Hollande has already refused to travel on the Franco-Polish summit, scheduled for October 13. That, apparently, was the reason for which the Minister Waszczykowski called France (and, more likely, President Hollande) is not hysteria.
The fact that Paris could not insist on, coupled with the emotional refusal to come to Poland for talks is unlikely to benefit the image of Francois Hollande, whose indecision and ambivalence has led to the fact that the detractors gave him the nickname Jelly.
“The talks faded naturally”
“It was not the failure of the contract”, – says the head of the Polish foreign Ministry. According to Waszczykowski, “talks faded in a natural way, because the proposals that were received from France, was unattractive, did not meet our conditions”.
Earlier Warsaw, explaining their reluctance to fulfill the terms of the contract referred to “insurmountable differences between the parties, making it impossible to achieve compromise.” The poles also explained that the French “contractor did not provide a proposal that ensures properly economic interest and security of the Polish state”.
Curiously, foreign Minister Waszczykowski added that Poland still needs helicopters, and several types. And last week, after the refusal of the Polish authorities from the contract with the French Minister of defence of the Republic, Anthony Macierewicz promised as soon as possible to arm Poland modern rotorcraft.
The choice depends on the geopolitical preferences
In light of this rush to rearmament recall: original Polish military were in favor of the American counterpart of the French car H225M Caracal, namely, multi-purpose helicopter Sikorsky U-60 Black Hawk. The more that U.S. helicopters are going in Poland – PZL aircraft factory in Mielec.
However, were then in power, the party “Civic platform”, a landmark on the Brussels, EU leaders chose the European manufacturer. Then negotiated the contract for the supply of fifty “Caracals”.
Now, when in power the conservative party “law and justice” (which is traditionally bad relations with European bureaucrats, wary of Germany, does not like Russia, but is focused on USA), it seems, will make a choice in favor of the equipment of the army us helicopters.
Last week the Prime Minister of Poland Beata Szydlo and defence Minister Antony, Makarevich visited the helicopter plant in Mielec. And, as expected, the contract with Lockheed Martin – the manufacturer of the Sikorsky Black Hawk.
Note that Warsaw and previously demonstrated their Pro-American sympathies in the matter of arms procurement, in 2003, Poland purchased for your needs American F-16 fighter jets, and not, as expected, their French counterparts Mirage 2000.
The French helicopter is newer and cheaper than the American
According to experts in the field of helicopter, Deputy chief editor of the magazine “Arsenal Fatherland” Dmitry Drozdenko, a refusal to purchase the French helicopter can carry initially ambiguous and, perhaps, later followed by bargaining.
“As for similar machines that Poland might prefer, then their choice is limited to similar machines producing countries, consisting of NATO. The same American Black Hawk – the machine is quite old, although excessively well-advertised. In addition, he has problems with high-rise characteristics of the motor – operation in dusty and mountainous areas significantly reduces their altitude and speed characteristics,” – said Drozdenko newspaper VIEW.
The expert believes that the advantage of the Caracal over the American counterparts in that they, first, newer, second, most likely, cheaper. “Let me remind you that the States are pondering the production of a new generation of helicopters to replace “Black hawk”, – he explained.
“Russia’s actions pose a great concern,”
But, as mentioned above, the causes of failure of the contract to be found in political, not military-technical sphere.
The correlation of the military potentials of Russia and Netcommander negotiating the purchase of helicopters, the Minister of defence of Poland, Macierewicz reiterated that “Russia’s recent actions pose a great concern.” “We take into account all messages including those, which indicate the possible presence of missiles “Iskander”, and even in a special configuration, the Kaliningrad region,” – intimidated the public, Macierewicz.
Poland wants to buy “different type of weapons”, including submarines that are produced in France, pointed out in turn, the foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski.
The Minister of defence of Poland said that “the Polish armed forces and intelligence system, including in collaboration with allies, are in constant readiness to monitor and guarantee the security of Poland and the partner countries”.
And who else could “guarantee the safety” better than the United States, which intends to deploy in Poland near the Russian border elements of its missile defense system?
USA priority for the poles, France and the European Union
“Poland’s relations with the European Union is now very tense, with France as one of the most important members of the EU, they are at a very low level,” – said the newspaper VIEW expert at Poland, senior researcher of the RAS Institute of Slavonic studies Vadim Volobuev. He recalled that they spoiled for a long time, since France and Brussels in General “very strongly criticized the Polish government for infringement of democratic freedoms, the attack on human rights, etc.”
“The current Polish government is looking very dismissive of the European Union in General and France in particular”, – said the analyst reminded that the head of the Polish state that emerged after the First world war, Jozef Pilsudski – the “leader and teacher” to the current Polish leadership is also contemptuous of Europe. “The current Polish government priority – relationship with USA, and Europe can wait. They believe that currently Poland needs Europe more than Europe Poland” – said the expert. He recalled that the current Polish government is also “extremely negative attitude to “compromising”, they think of France’s position in relations with Russia, steps aimed at easing the convergence. All of this contributes to better relations, which “tend to zero”, stated Volobuev.
He recalled that “the Polish government now Russia is the enemy number one”. “It is no exaggeration to say that they simply did actually live in the feeling that Russia will attack them from day to day,” – said the expert.
In addition, for the poles the priority of American technology. Still their main source of revenue for the modernization of the army was American technology, and one that was used in Afghanistan, was also American. With the French they are in the military did not cooperate, said the source. Therefore, “waiver of these helicopters for them (the poles) is not particularly strong blow.” “How do they think France is not take, take anyone else. Everybody needs money, someone’s bound to resort to military proposals. In the end, those same Americans will take,” said Volobuev.
He explained that the reasons for the refusal of the poles from the contract with the French may be many. “I do not exclude that there are any political motives”, – said Volobuev, however, urged not to do hasty conclusions and to look at the situation in development. “Maybe there are economic moment. The Polish economy is now in no condition to make any mass purchases”, – concluded the expert.