The forthcoming deal, dubbed the Kruk (Raven) program and estimated to be worth 5-6 billion zlotys ($1.3-$1.6 billion), is most likely to be awarded to Boeing in the walkup to the forthcoming NATO summit in Warsaw in July, the daily wrote citing sources close to the tender.
“The drafting of tactical-technical requirements was completed, and, by the end of June, a decision regarding the mode of acquiring combat helicopters will be made,” ministry spokesman Bartlomiej Misiewicz said.
Eight of the 24 Apaches will be acquired in an assembled form, while the rest are to be put together in Poland.
Poland's Finance Ministry estimates that the country will spend around 130 billion zlotys ($33.6 billion) before 2022 on modernizing its armed forces.
Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz recently complained, however, that the Kruk program was undefunded and said that with all necessary acquisitions carried out, the final outlays would be in the ballpark of 235 billion zlotys ($60 billion).
The Kruk program was proposed in the wake of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine and amid Polish fears of an imaginary Russian aggression.
According to the World Air Forces 2016 report, Poland’s combat helicopter force currently consists of 17 Russian-designed Mil-2, Mil-8 and Mil-17 helicopters and a number of US-made Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprites.