Airbus has been a contributing partner to the Polish aerospace industry for nearly 2 decades. Key activities include aircraft production and manufacturing of aerostructures, components and systems for civil and military use.
A long-lasting industrial relationship
Playing a bigger role in Europe’s wider defence industry
Airbus has been a contributing partner in the Polish aerospace industry for almost two decades. Key activities include:
- Aircraft production
- Aerostructure manufacture
- Component and electrical system manufacture
- Pilot and ground personnel training
- Fleet management
- MRO services
- Space satellite technology research.
As of today, more than ten Polish companies are involved in the direct Airbus supply chain, along with multiple indirect suppliers, while other key functions are provided with guidance and active support.
- Employment: 900 employees (98% are Polish citizens), growth of local workforce over the last four years: 60%
- Helicopter fleet: 56 civil and parapublic helicopters (market leader)
- Aircraft fleet: 49 (performing a variety of tasks, including surveillance, humanitarian assistance firefighting and pilot training)
- Annual sourcing: approx. €204 million per year and increasing
Make in Poland today and tomorrow
In Poland, Airbus is building a robust long-term relationship that will evolve according to the interests and needs of local partners, including:
- Maintaining and developing PZL Warszawa-Okecie as one of Airbus‘s competence centres for aircraft equipment.
- Transforming the present service centre for C295 aircraft operated by the Polish military, currently located at PZL Warszawa-Okecie, into a service centre for this type of aircraft operated in other countries.
- Expanding service centre operations, including servicing for other aircraft types.
- Expanding the range of products manufactured in Poland and intended for export, such as PZL 130 Orlik basic training aircraft, UAS or H225M Caracal helicopters.
- Investing, as first step, in a 500m² clean room dedicated to space activities.
- Working together with Polish research institutions and aviation companies to implement a broad programme for Research and Technology.
- Development (RT&D), focusing on the development of aviation and space technologies.
- Developing RT&D, and industrial activities in satellite and space technologies, and an increasing range of space-related products.
- Substantially increasing sourcing from Polish aviation suppliers.
- Working with WZL-1 in Lodz to provide services in Poland and internationally. This includes setting up industrial helicopter hubs with complete assembly lines and service centres for military helicopters, along with a number of competence centres involved in the production of aviation structures, engines, components and mechanical parts.
Poland is among the few countries that continuously reinforce and maintain their military power. It has a vibrant economy, a growing GDP, a stable political system as well as engineering expertise supported by long-term investment plans.
Poland has become an established and internationally recognised industry leader supplying parts for the full range of Airbus airplanes. Airbus aim is to partner with Poland and have the country play a much bigger role in Europe’s wider defence industry.
Airbus plans to widen its industrial presence in the country, giving greater access to its defence and space, helicopters, and commercial aircraft divisions in a structured and lasting industrial relationship.
Airbus Helicopters: a customer driven leadership
Airbus Helicopters has been present in Poland for 13 years through Heli Invest (the local distributor and certified maintenance center for Airbus Helicopters) located at the Babice/Bemowo Airfield in Warsaw.With nearly 60 helicopters operating in Poland, Airbus is currently the country’s market leader among western rotorcraft manufacturers.
Between 2009 and 2010 Airbus Helicopters delivered 23 H135 helicopters and one Flight Training Device simulator to the Polish Ministry of Health, which are currently operated at the premises of Lotnicze Pogotowie Ratunkowe (LPR) in Warsaw.
Four additional H135 helicopters were ordered in August 2015 and delivered later that year. LPR has one of the most modern emergency medical services fleets in the world, making Airbus Helicopters’ products and services an integral part the day-to-day life of Polish citizens.
Reaching almost 50,000 flight hours and logging thousands of humanitarian transport and rescue missions, Airbus Helicopters is the only company to have successfully performed an important transition from an old Soviet helicopter fleet to a modern one, by implementing successful training programmes.
Through Heli Invest services, Airbus Helicopters offers comprehensive full technical support plus logistics and training support for the company’s Polish fleet.
A helicopter range to protect and serve polish interests
Airbus Helicopters offers the widest range of modern and combat-proven helicopters, from the Tiger multirole attack helicopter and the H225M Caracal heavy multi-role helicopter, to the H135M or the H145M light utility helicopters.
Designed to perform armed reconnaissance, air or ground escort, air-to-air combat, ground firing support, destruction and anti-tank warfare, day or night and in adverse conditions, the Tiger attack helicopter has proven its capabilities during operational deployments in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Somalia, Libya and Mali.
The enhanced Tiger HAD variant provides air-to-ground missile capability, improved target acquisition and ballistic protection, 14% more power, an evolved electronic warfare suite, and the latest interrogation systems.
The H225M Caracal is a heavy, modern and combatproven platform able to perform the widest range of missions from special operations to combat search and rescue, tactical transport and casualty as well as medical evacuation.
Operated by the armed forces of France, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia,Thailand and very recently selected by Kuwait, the H225M Caracal keeps expending its footprint as the most modern reference in its class. It has demonstrated its reliability even in the harshest operational environments, notably in Mali, Libya or Somalia.
Evolving with the H145M
Designed to deliver excellent performance throughout the flight envelope, the H145M (formerly known as the EC645 T2) is the latest member of the Airbus Helicopters 4-ton-class twin-engine rotorcraft product range – with built-in mission capability and flexibility, especially in high-and-hot operating conditions.
Compact in size, this helicopter’s small footprint and large and flexible cabin make it the aircraft of choice for a variety of civil missions. In its military version, this economical and versatile helicopter covers the entire spectrum of military missions, from light utility to light attack. The H145M is operated by the German Special Forces and has also been ordered by Thailand.
With a dedicated engineering center in Lodz and through a number of research & development partnerships with technical universities as well as small and medium enterprises in Poland, Airbus Helicopters is carrying out breakthrough innovation projects in close collaboration with local actors to support development of advanced future concepts – such as the high-speed helicopter demonstrator currently being developed as part the European Clean Sky 2 research programme.
Airbus: leaders in innovation
As the leading aircraft manufacturer, Airbus has worked with the Polish aerospace industry for almost 20 years, benefitting from the Polish expertise in aircraft production. As of today, more than ten Polish companies are involved in the Airbus supply chain, along with multiple indirect suppliers.
They contribute to propulsion systems, aerostructures, materials and parts, systems and equipment and cabin making on all Airbus aircraft programmes, including the latest aircraft, the A350 XWB and the A320neo, the fastest selling single-aisle aircraft in the world.
The dynamic development of the Aviation Valley cluster has bolstered the industrial presence of Airbus supply chain in Poland, meaning Airbus contributes to the Polish economy with significant co-operation volumes.
Co-developing innovative aeronautical solutions
In 2006, Airbus signed a strategic research framework agreement with Technology Partners, a foundation representing the major Polish research organisations. The objective is to develop innovative aeronautic solutions using the latest technologies. In May 2011, the agreement with the Technology Partners Foundation with Airbus was extended to cover research programmes for the entire Airbus.
Another milestone in this field is the Letter of Intent signed in December 2014 with the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR), paving the way for lasting cooperation with Polish research and development leaders. The bilateral Steering Committee stemming from the LoI is fully operational, with first pilot programmes in aerospace R&D domain well defined and being jointly developed.
Airbus Defence and Space: focus on added-value partnerships
Airbus Defence and Space has been in Poland since 2001, with the 60% growth of local workforce over the last four years (today: 900 employees, 98% are Polish citizens). The Warsaw-based site produces the basic trainer PZL-130 Orlik, as well as structures, components and assemblies for C295, CN235 and A400M, A320s and A330s. Of the metallic structures for all C295 sold worldwide, 40% originate in Warsaw.
Airbus Defence and Space in Warsaw is home to a maintenance centre providing services to the Polish fleet of C295s (Poland currently operates 16 such aircraft) as well as a design office. PZL Warszawa- Okecie has recently expanded its portfolio, now also offering spacecraft components for major European satellite programmes.
Additionally Airbus Defence and Space operates a fleet of 49 aircraft located in Mielec, performing a variety of tasks, including surveillance, firefighting, humanitarian assistance and pilot training.
The department of aviation services in Mielec is also involved in training pilots and flight crew, maintenance and repairs, as well as the sale of aircraft and parts.
Airbus Defence and Space: pioneering the future together
Airbus Defence and Space closely collaborates with Polish industrial and scientific leaders – together, they are paving the way for future Polish space activities. Astri Polska, the joint venture between Airbus Defence and Space and the Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences, carries out engineering activities in satellite and space technologies.
PZL Warszawa-Okecie, the company that design and manufactures the ORLIK aircraft is entering the space venture. Astri Polska is the first company in Poland to offer integrated applications combining satellite navigation, observation and telecommunication technologies.
The company Astri Polska has now acquired a wide space-related range of activities, including electrical ground support equipment (EGSE), functional simulators of satellites and optical ground support equipment (OGSE); Astri-Polska aims to grow in satellites operations and associated activities.
With a competency in electrical space harness and a clean room of 500 m² to manufacture and assemble such harness, and space components PZL Warszawa-Okecie is continuing its development to become the first aerospace company in Poland to offer a combined expertise in aeronautics and space to provide cutting edge equipments to the future major defense programmes in Poland.
With almost 30 years of experience and more than 45 Earth observation satellites successfully built and launched, Airbus Defence and Space is the leading provider of Earth observation satellites today, valued for the leading-edge technology and the exceptional reliability of its products and appreciated as a strong partner around the globe.
Airbus Defence and Space and its Polish subsidiaries are prepared to play a major role in the implementation of Poland’s national Earth observation satellite programme.
A bright future
Airbus wishes to further strengthen partnership with Poland, seeing the country play a bigger role in Europe’s defence industry. Poland is a significant element of Airbus strategy in Europe. All divisions are working closely together to invest and create a significant industrial footprint in the country.
Poland does not only represent an aerospace and defence market; its proven technological and industrial capacities as well as its highly skilled workforce make Poland a strong partner of Airbus. Existing cooperation as well as future programmes, imminent joint ventures and a joint approach towards European programmes are tangible and proven elements of Airbus corporate strategy.
Operating in a similar European industrial environment, Airbus and its divisions understand Polish hopes for a consolidated European approach in facing current challenges, potential instabilities and future threats. Therefore, Airbus offers Poland an attractive strategic partnership.
The H225M Caracal programme could be a catalyst for the industrial implementation of several scientific and technical development activities, which would allow the Polish industry to acquire the capabilities to develop and produce several key components, equipment and systems for helicopters.
Within the coming years, Airbus Helicopters will create at least a total of 1,250 new direct jobs and 2,000 new indirect jobs, mostly in Lodz, Radom and Deblin.
Beyond these projects, Airbus envisages further engagement in the country. There are plans for substantial research and technology development investments, transfer of technology and engineering capabilities, increased sourcing from local aerospace suppliers, creating additional industrial hubs in the country, and more than doubling the local workforce over the next ten years.