Hollande cancels Poland trip over scrapped Caracal deal
After Warsaw cancelled the purchase of 50 Caracal military helicopters from Airbus, French President Francois Hollande deferred his visit to Poland, which was scheduled for the 13th of October. The postponed visit is seen by many as a demonstration of France’s discontent with the cancellation of the deal.
Poland’s decision to procure 50 helicopters from Airbus for $3.5 billion was made by the previous government in 2015, but on the 4th of October, 2016, the Ministry of Defense announced scrapping the deal. Representatives of the new right-wing government have commented that they would rather award the contract to a manufacturer that would be willing to localize the production in Poland.
The Polish media saw reports about ongoing negotiations with US manufacturer Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky about locally-produced Black Hawk helicopters that could possibly be procured by the Polish army as early as the end of 2016. This step would strengthen Poland’s ties with the US, already the closest ally of the new government.
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