Arboleda company, representing the Ukrainian Motor Sich manufacturer, submitted an offer to the Polish Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Interior and Administration, pertaining to accelerated modernization of five to eight Mi-2 and three Mi-8 helicopters. The company declared that the airframes would be ready before the Cracow World Youth Day event begins. Moreover, leasing of ten Mi-2 helicopters, that could be used for the period of works has also been offered, along with a free simulator training package.
Arboleda company has sent two separate letters, one to Minister Antoni Macierewicz and one to Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, offering, inter alia, accelerated modernization (including the operation within which the engines would be retrofitted) of five to eight Mi-2 and 3 Mi-8 helicopters, up to the Mi-2MSB and Mi-8MSB standards respectively. The helicopters in question would be ready by July, when the World Youth Day event begins.
The Ukrainians expressed their readiness to subsequently modernize up to 10 Mi-2 and 6 Mi-8 helicopters, throughout the whole year. For period of works the Polish uniformed services could lease up to 10 Mi-2 helicopters, so that implementation of modifications and modernization would not make it more difficult to carry out the ongoing tasks. In both cases, scope of the works to be implemented is expected to include replacement of the engines, which makes it possible to improve the performance and reliability of the modernized rotary-winged aircraft.
According to the Ukrainian offer, the works pertaining to modernization of the Mi-2 and Mi-8 helicopters could be realized at the WZL No. 1 [Military Aviation Works] facility in Łódź. Alternatively, Zaporozhyan or Orshan Motor Sich facilities (Ukraine and Belarus, respectively) may be used to implement the works, should performance of the contract within the territory of Poland be impossible at the given time, or for other reasons.
Simultaneously, the Ukrainian offer includes free training for 20 Mi-2 and Mi-8 pilots, with the use of simulators of both these helicopters, at the Ukrainian Pilots Training Centre in Zaporozhye. Poland would only have to cover the cost of transport and accommodation for the Personnel involved in training.
The proposal is also related to the offer which assumes that a helicopter training centre would be established at the Polish Air Force Academy in Dęblin. Motor Sich company is interested in collaboration with the Arboleda company, the aim of which would be to set up Mi-2 and Mi-8 simulators in Dęblin, also for the modernized MSB variants of the helicopters. The simulators would be maintained by the Ukrainian companies, and they are widely used in the pilots training process for the foreign personnel. Meanwhile, it should be noted that Poland has no Mi-2 or Mi-8 helicopter simulator at its disposal, even though these airframes are widely operated by the Armed Forces and by the services acting under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Interior and Administration.