With alittle help from our friends.

Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski visited Canada, offering troops and helicopters [3]

[After a formal speech before an Ottawa audience, Poland's Foreign Minister, Radek Sikorski, gave interviews to members of the local press. Excerpts of articles follow.]

Poland is sending 400 soldiers to Afghanistan to join the approximately 1200 already in the country. Minister Sikorski said that Poland would put two (2) of its eight ( Russian-built helicopters [ both Mi-17 transports ] "at the disposal of Canada" in Kandahar Province.

"I can't talk about the details of [ Poland's] deployment plan, but there will be more scope for Polish-Canadian cooperation." He confirmed that Polish Special Forces are already operating in Kandahar, and are working closely with Canadian Forces (CF) there.

"I hope [that this new Polish deployment] is a good beginning. I hope that we're showing that not only are Canada's contributions and sacrifices appreciated, but also that Canada's voice is being heard. In the run-up to the NATO Summit in Bucharest [ this April ], we will certainly ... be arguing very forcefully ... that more needs to be done ..."
contribution basis”.
A Little Help From our Polish Friends
Poland has confirmed (external - login to view) that two of the four Mi-17 (external - login to view) medium-lift transport helicopters to deploy to southern Afghanistan are to be “at the disposal of Canada” in Kandahar Province. These helicopters were brought into Polish service with remarkable speed thanks to a mixture of luck and flexibility.
The luck was one-sided. Polish arms firm, Bumar, had brokered a deal to supply Iraq with Russian Mi-17s. The package combined rebuilt Mi-17 V-1 and new-built Mi-17 V-5 types. Iraq changed its specification, insisting upon brand-new, ramped Mi-17V-5s only. Bumar was paid a kill-fee for the other helicopters, allowing Poland to buy Mi-17s optimized for hot, dusty operations at a cut rate.
Adapting Mi-17s for Polish service in Afghanistan
Poland already had experience with Hip helicopters (both earlier-model [1] Mi-17s and Mi-8s), so Mi-17 V-1 service entry was seamless. This type also has a long history in Afghanistan and not just with the Soviet Union. The CIA and US special forces have operated Mi-17s in Afghanistan since early 2002.[2] That experience will prove useful to the Poles and may have already suggested improvements for the Mi-17s for operations in the hostile Afghan climate. The Polish Mi-17s deploying to Afghanistan are all operated by the Lotnictwo Wojsk Ladowych ( LWL or Polish Army Aviation). [3]
Polish sources mention exhaust diffusers for its Mi-17 but at the time of writing, the shrouds had yet to be fitted. The object of an exhaust diffuser is to reduce a helicopter’s infrared signature – thus reducing its vulnerability to heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles. [4] The Iraqi Mi-17 V-5s feature factory-installed diffusers (left) while CIA-operated Mils are fitted with diffusers designed by WR Davis Engineering in the US (right). Poland may choose either of these diffusers (the Russian type also fitting the Mi-24, the US type being more efficient )

You dont read news like these back home .
Last edited by china; Mar 5th, 2009 at 11:15 PM..
Polish Special Forces are already operating in Kandahar, and are working closely with Canadian Forces (CF

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