13:48 GMT +327 March 2017
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    U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopters support soldiers during the NATO Noble Jump exercise on a training range near Swietoszow Zagan, Poland. Polish leaders say the country is buying Polish-made Black Hawk helicopters as it modernizes the army.

    Poland Modernizing Armed Forces With Black Hawk Choppers

    © AP Photo/ Alik Keplicz
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    Poland’s ongoing military modernization program will start off 2017 by adding two Black Hawk choppers. The two helicopters are set to join a 16 chopper fleet that can replace the aging fleet of Mi-8, Mi-14 and Mi-17 aircraft.

    The Black Hawks are slated to arrive in March, Polish defense minister Antoni Macierewicz told the Polish Press Agency. It’s been a long, time-intensive process due to "all the paperwork [that] had to be consulted across the Atlantic," Macierewicz said, which has been accompanied by unwanted delays.

    After the first two Black Hawks touchdown, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether Warsaw will pick Lockheed Martin, Leonardo or Airbus helicopters to round out the rest of the 16 unit fleet. The new attack helicopters are replacements for Poland’s 12 Mil Mi-8/17 utility aircraft, DefenseNews noted.

    The 16 helicopters Warsaw will procure by year-end are just one aspect of a $14.5 billion military buying spree Warsaw officials announced in December. Polish armed forces will add 1,200 UAVs, three navy ships, two mine destroyers, and a number of submarines that is still to be determined.

    The spending program coincides with a time where the Polish economy suffers from GDP per capita "significantly below the EU average," even if access and membership to EU financing since 2004 has given the Polish economy a "major boost," according to a CIA overview. Another proxy of economic health, the stock market, shows that from 2013 to 2015 the total market capitalization of Polish companies fell from about $204 to $137 billion, per CIA data.

    Meanwhile, at least 3,500 American troops shipped out from Fort Carson, Colorado at the end of January to serve as a part of an indefinite US military presence in Poland, which is part of a larger NATO effort. 

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    Tags:
    military spending, Black Hawk, NATO, EU, Atoni Macierewicz, Colorado, United States, Poland
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    • avatar
      ivanwa88
      Its a good thing the EU gives them 8,444 million Euro each year to pay pensions and provide health care if they all die off suddenly more to spend on helicopters.
    • avatar
      Mitach2002
      The Pollocs have lost their mind, why would Russia want the headache of attacking and controlling this country, for what end, what's to gain?
      Ridiculous.
    • avatar
      anne00mariein reply toivanwa88(Show commentHide comment)
      ivanwa88, They are the largest EU debtor nation and one of the reasons for BREXIT, we could not afford to finance Poland. Especially, when they sent the adults to the UK and expected social benefits for the family they left at home. Yet, why do so few immigrants choose Poland? Is it because there social benefits are so poor?
    • avatar
      michael
      and how many blackhawks have been lost so far? :)
    • avatar
      Igor
      Now I truly understand 'Polish' jokes. If they consider Blackhawks modernizing...that has to be the BEST of Polish jokes.
    • avatar
      emerald
      They want the best choper made in usa bo-hu-hu
    • avatar
      DerExperte
      Poland to get nearly EUR 106 bln from 2014-2020 EU budget pool! Why do they not spending European taxpayers money on European companys like Eurocopter?
    • avatar
      manofsteel194275
      Military, war, war, war, as more people than ever before go hungry in the West, war and the Military's need for better killing stuff, it is just f-ing crazy. The Banker King is interested only in war because that is where the big money is, as if, 500 hundred or so trillion is not enough for him and his Family!
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