Polish defence minister signs offset deal with Lockheed Martin

Poland will soon receive 96 Apache helicopters, Mariusz Blaszczak said. Artur Reszko/PAP

The Polish defence minister has signed an offset deal with the US firm Lockheed Martin related to the purchase by Poland of Apache attack helicopters.

The contract, signed in Mesa, Arizona, on Monday, will see the creation of a centre servicing key helicopter parts in Bydgoszcz, northern Poland.

The deal is the first of three initial contracts to be signed before the conclusion of the purchase of the Apache choppers.

"Poland will soon receive 96 Apache helicopters," Mariusz Blaszczak, the Polish defence minister, said as he signed the agreement at the Boeing plant near Phoenix where Apaches are manufactured. "This will be the second biggest Apache fleet outside the US."

Poland expressed its desire to obtain 96 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters last year as part of its fast-tracked effort to strengthen the armed forces in the face of Russia's attack on Ukraine. The US Congress approved the sale in early September.  

The AH-64 Apache is the most advanced multi-role combat helicopter for the US Army and a growing number of global defence forces. It has been in use by the US Army since the 1980s as its basic attack helicopter. 

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