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Author Topic: Su-25 in Poland?  (Read 3878 times)
Piotr Mikolajski
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« on: May 21, 2013, 02:30:12 AM »

In Polish sources I've seen following information several times. In TV military magazine "Poligon" (in Polish: "Shooting range") aired in 1978 Su-25 was shown with information that this aircraft will be license manufactured in WSK PZL Mielec factory. Does Soviet / Russian sources confirm that?

BTW, if someone is interested, I can post more info about Soviet aircraft which were planned for Polish Air Force but never entered service.
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2013, 07:27:41 AM »

Hi Piotr,
this could be interesting. There is a lot of time between 1978 and the end of the Warsaw pact. Why hasn't the type entered service?
Regards
Massimo
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Piotr Mikolajski
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2013, 01:40:16 PM »

I have no idea, there are no more info available. It's impossible to find this particular edition of "Poligon" magazine for someone who is not working in TV archives so I'm not sure what to think about it.
? It can be fairy tale, because it's not possible to verify this story.
? It could be misleading information released in this magazine as kind of deception for enemies in NATO.
? It's quite possible that Poland planned to replace their fleet of close attack LiM-6bis aircraft (developed from MiG-17) with more modern attack aircraft but due to crisis and collapsing economy couldn't afford such purchase.

At this time we had quite strong aviation industry, experienced with Soviet constructions. From technical and technological point of view we were capable to manufacture Su-25s so this couldn't be reason for abandoning project.
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bbrought
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2013, 10:45:02 PM »

Hi Piotr

I have this information from the Aerofax Su-25 book by Yefim Gordon:

Page 16:
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The creation of a new light assault aircraft in the USSR had not gone unnoticed by Russia's allies in the 'Socialist Brotherhood' of Eastern Europe. A little earlier, Romania had itself offered to design and develop a 'shturmovik' for the Warsaw Pact partner countries. Then, the wish to participate in such a project was intimated by Poland, whose aircraft manufacturing plants at that time were not particularly overburdened with work. In these particular circumstances, the Soviet Union was forced to make an official declaration that it was already working on the creation of such an aircraft, whose existence had already been discussed by representatives of the Soviet General Staff during regular meetings of Warsaw Pact members. At the beginning of 1976, the Polish government suggested that it would set up production of the new aircraft under the designation Su-25L (litsenzionny - licence-built) at the Polskie Zaklady Lotnicze (PZL) plant at Mielec. The engine for the new aircraft was to be a non-afterburning variant of the Tumanskiy R13F-300 turbojet powering some versions of the MiG-21; it would have been built at the PZL Rzeszow plant. This suggestion by the Poles made very sound economic sense, as the engine was in the inventories of all the Warsaw Pact countries at that time. In June 1976 Edward Gierek, the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers Party, officially approached the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party Leonid I Brezhnev with a request for the transfer of a licence to produce the Su-25 at Polish aircraft factories. The Polish aircraft industry was firmly set on establishing full-scale manufacture of the aircraft in the mid-1980's, although this did not come to fruition for a number of reasons - mainly political ones. Events then took a quite different turn.

The text then goes on to explain that the Soviet government didn't intend to pass the new technology onto its 'friends'. In the end, they decided to start production in Tbilisi, Georgia, instead. Then a little later:

Quote
Nevertheless, the Su-25 was later shown to the Soviet Union's socialist 'brothers'. In particular, on 29th June 1978 the aircraft was demonstrated to a Polish military delegation led by the Polish Minister of Defence, Marshal (and future President) Wojciech Jaruzelski, at Kubinka airbase West of Moscow. It was flown by one of the Sukhoi OKB's best test pilots, Yevgeniy Solov'yov, who showed off the aircraft's excelent manoeuvrability in a display which was largely conducted at a height of around 50m (165 ft). After the flight, the Polish leader presented the Russian pilot with Poland's highest military aviation award - the Silver Eagle - for his masterful demonstration of the 'shturmovik's' capabilities.

There is also a short section on this issue in the Eksmo book by Markovsky and Prihodshenko "Штурмовик Су-25 "Грач"". Here is a short extract, which more-or-less agrees with the information above (from page 15):
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Для ускорения принятия решения МАП о запуске серии Су-25 в Тбилиси директор заводе Я.Р. Хведелиани попросил организовать показ штурмовика высшему партийному и хозяйственному руководству Грузии. 4 июня 1976 года Т8-2 уже был на заводском аэродрома в солнечном Тбилиси. Показ завершился успехом, по воле случая совпав по времени с обращением польсково руководителя Э. Герека к советскому правительству о передаче лицензии на производство самолета в Польшу, для загрузки тамошнего завода PZL в Мелеце. Для поддержки дружественной Польши стали всерьез рассматривать возможность передачи туда выпуска Су-25л ("лицензионный").

It doesn't say much more, except that it was decided to start series production in Tbilisi.

Let me know if you need the above Russian quote translated, but it essentially says the same as what was said in the Aerofax book.

Regards,
Bennie
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BA Broughton
Piotr Mikolajski
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2013, 03:45:26 AM »

Bennie, thanks a lot, I completely forgot about Aerofax book. Shame on me, Yefim Gordon explains everything. I think talks started in 1976 and were still continued in 1978 but due to political unstability of Poland idea was abandoned. There were several political tensions between Soviet Union and Poland indeed as well as economic issues too.

I think that "Poligon" aired information about this delegation in June 1978 because General Wojciech Jaruzelski is often mentioned with information about license for Su-25.

But I need to add two corrections to the text of Yefim Gordon:
#1 - Wojciech Jaruzelski was (and still is) General. Marshal rank is special and two retired Marshals of Poland lived at this time. Jaruzelski declined idea of promoting him to this rank.

#2 - There are no "Silver Eagle" award, I guess that Yevgeniy Solov'yov got Polish aviation eagle, military pilot badge.



PS. I had last lesson of Russian 22 years ago but I'm still able to read and even understand a little bit. Writing is another story Wink
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bbrought
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2013, 06:19:06 AM »

Hi Piotr

Thanks for the additional information. I am not at all surprised by the mistakes in Gordon's book - he publishes a lot but I often see such little incorrect details get through in his books. I think he could spend a bit more time on cross-checking information. At least the core information is there and more-or-less correct.

I never took Russian in school, but I have a professional tutor that I have been going to for several years. It is my fourth language and still far from fluent. The main reason that I have been studying it informally and later more formally is that my wife is Russian and because of the in-laws living there I have been visiting Russia at least once a year from about 1999 onwards. It is useful for reading about aviation history also...
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BA Broughton
Piotr Mikolajski
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2013, 11:09:02 AM »

With Russian wife you had to learn language. Russian girls are beauty but also know very well how to "manage" their men. And that's why we like them I guess Wink


I'm a little bit surprised with such inaccuracies in Gordon's books. Both are not so hard to check really and it seems that Gordon just wrote what he heard without any verification. i hope he will correct it in next editions.
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bbrought
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2013, 03:38:38 PM »

With Russian wife you had to learn language. Russian girls are beauty but also know very well how to "manage" their men. And that's why we like them I guess Wink

Indeed, indeed. Although from what I have seen around me all married woman seem to get the upper hand in the household eventually, regardless of nationality. After ten years I must say I cannot complain. And yes, their beauty cannot be denied Wink

Quote
I'm a little bit surprised with such inaccuracies in Gordon's books. Both are not so hard to check really and it seems that Gordon just wrote what he heard without any verification. i hope he will correct it in next editions.

I think it has to do with the high rate at which he publishes. He really seems to have a new book out every few months, which leads me to think that he checks the principal facts but not always every small detail. You sometimes notice these little mistakes in photograph captions in his books, where he might refer to the wrong sub-type, etc. However, despite the occasional mistake (which are generally relatively minor) I must admit to enjoying his books - they are usually easy to read and they provide a lot of information that non-Russian speakers would not see otherwise. As with any text dealing with history, it is of course always useful to have more than one source to check against. That is why I also quoted the text from the Russian book - to make sure what Gordon wrote was at least at its core correct, and the two books do seem to back each other up in this case.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 03:42:50 PM by bbrought » Logged

BA Broughton
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