Four bid in Polish AJT contest

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Four contractors met the 2 April deadline to submit bids in Poland's advanced jet trainer (AJT) contest, the nation's defence ministry has revealed.

They are: Czech Aero Vodochody, which is offering the L-159T1; Alenia Aermacchi, with the M-346 Master; BAE Systems, with the Hawk AJT; and Lockheed Martin UK, probably pitching the T-50 Golden Eagle, which was developed jointly by Lockheed and Korea Aerospace Industries.

Ministry spokesman Jacek Sonta says the inspectorate of armaments will now start evaluating whether the bidders fulfil conditions of participation.

Of the four, only BAE Systems has publicly commented on its involvement in the competition. "BAE Systems confirms it has submitted a response to the tender announcement for the Poland AJT requirement and looks forward to continued discussions regarding this opportunity. Our offering will be based upon the proven Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer," says Paul Dawkins, head of the Hawk AJT campaign for Poland.

Warsaw is interested in acquiring eight newly manufactured AJT aircraft. Unofficially, technical negotiations are to start in mid-July, and final offers should be submitted in November. The winner will be chosen by year-end, with the subsequent agreement to span the period from 15 January 2014 to 30 November 2017.