RZESZOW, Poland, April 27 (Reuters) - Poland is planning to choose a supplier of 30 attack helicopters by the end of this year, Deputy Defence Minister Czeslaw Mroczek said on Monday.
Four companies have expressed interest in providing Poland with the aircraft, in a tender which was recently speeded up by the Polish ministry of defence because of what it called changing security circumstances.
The potential bidders are a grouping of Airbus Helicopters and Heli Invest Services, Turkish Aerospace Industries (IPO-TUSAS.IS), Bell Helicopter Textron Co and BIT SA.
"We are planning to complete the procedure of choosing a supplier of attack helicopters for the Polish army by the end of the year," Czeslaw Mroczek told journalists.
The tender is part of Poland's 130 billion zloty ($36 billion) army modernisation programme.
Earlier this month, Poland said it would buy Raytheon Co's Patriot missiles from the United States and provisionally selected Airbus utility helicopters in deals worth an estimated $8 billion. ($1 = 3.6590 zlotys) (Reporting by Wojciech Zurawski; Writing by Wiktor Szary; Editing by David Holmes)