More than 1,700 employees at PZL Mielec are celebrating the company’s 10th anniversary as a privatised company operated by helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company.

Since privatisation and a US$150 million investment to improve production facilities and tooling, PZL Mielec sales have increase five-fold. Cabins, pylons and tail cones produced at PZL Mielec are shipped to Sikorsky’s Black Hawk helicopter factory in the United States, and 40 the S-70i™ Black Hawk variant have been produced for seven international customers. PZL Mielec is now one of the largest defence exporters in Poland.

In addition to those workers directly employed at the Mielec plant, more than 5,000 other jobs are sustained in Polish supply chain companies, many of which are located in Poland’s Aviation Valley.

The commitment shown by Sikorsky and its parent company Lockheed Martin has enabled PZL Mielec to remain a distinctly Polish company that is well prepared to compete on a global scale.

“Since privatization, we have seen the transformation of PZL Mielec into a modern enterprise, which is now one of the leading aviation factories in Poland and a key contributor of export earnings to the Polish national economy,” said Janusz Zakręcki, president and general director of PZL Mielec.

“We have enjoyed significant growth and development since privatisation, and although the international market remains challenging, we have equally strong opportunities ahead of us,” he said. “We are very excited to offer our military helicopter products and services to the Polish Ministry of Defence to support its national defence needs.  Securing this sale is a very important part of our business plan.”

The Black Hawk helicopter produced in Poland today is a flexible military platform that can meet customers’ requirements for a variety of current and future missions, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, special operations, close air support of ground troops, armed escort and armed assault.