Wisła and Patriot Missiles - Pricetag of USD 4.75 billion. Contract Concluded

29 marca 2018, 11:56
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Polish Ministry of Defence is going to pay around 4.75 billion US dollars, in order to cover the cost of Phase I of the Wisła programme. The above pricetag refers to acquisition of two Patriot system batteries equipped with the PAC-3 MSE missiles and IBCS command suite. The Agreement concerning the elements of the first stage of the Wisła programme was signed by Mariusz Błaszczak, head of the Polish Ministry of Defence. This is the most significant armament procurement contract ever to have been signed in the history of Poland.

Poland is going to pay around 4.57 billion dollars, in order to finalize Phase I of the Wisła air defence programme. The main objective of this acquisition process is to procure a medium range air/missile defence system. More than 700 million zlotys of the amount mentioned above is to be received by the Polish industry, within the framework of the related offset. The above was recently announced by the Head of the Polish Ministry of Defence, Mariusz Błaszczak and it translates into the most significant contract ever signed, in the history of the Polish military.

The agreement related to the elements of Phase I of the Wisła programme envisages delivery of two Patriot system batteries manufactured by Raytheon. Each and every battery would include two fire units consisting out of a single AN/MPQ-65 radar and quadruple M903 launchers. This configuration differs from the one used by the US Army. In case of the US military, each battery constitutes a single fire unit.

The contract covers acquisition of 208 PAC-3 MSE missiles manufactured by Lockheed Martin. Extra 11 examples will also be delivered, for test purposes. The quantity in question is being acquired with both stages of the Wisła programme in mind. A single PAC-3 MSE missile costs more than 6 million dollars. One may claim that the armament in question is fairly expensive then. Its primary role is to act against demanding threats such as the ballistic missiles. Existing PAC-2 GEM-T or prospective US/Israeli SkyCeptor effectors of the Patriot system may be used to act against fixed- and rotary wing aircraft or drones. The SkyCeptor missile is going to be acquired by Poland during the Phase II of the Wisła programme. The current contract does not cover the acquisition of low-cost missiles. In case of the Wisła system configured in this manner, the whole solution is going to take on primarily the missile defence role.

The Polish variant of the Patriot system is going to be coupled with a net centric IBCS air defence management system (Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System). The solution mentioned above is being developed by the US-based Northrop Grumman company. Polish Ministry of Defence is planning to acquire the IBCS solution before it enters series production, via a yockey waiver procedure. The system is going to be implemented in Poland in parallel with a similar process taking place in the US. The whole procedure is expected to be finalized in 2022. IBCS is to act as a management suite that would integrate all levels of the Polish IADS.

Image Credit: M Rachwalska/Defence24

The remaining elements of the system include: four fire control stations; four Radar Interface Units fusing the Patriot system with the new generation IFCN system used within IBCS; LINKs [Launcher Integration Network Kits] used to connect the launchers to the IFCN system; Engagement Operations Center coordinating units in a couple of versions; IFCN system units; four Electrical Power Plants III; and five MIDS-LVT terminals, connecting the communications suite to the Link 16 network.

The said elements were listed by DSCA in its notification addressed to the Congress in November 2017. The entity in question is responsible for sales of the armament within the framework of the FMS procedure (Foreign Military Sales). The notification mentioned above also lists the maximum value of the contract ascribed to the 1st stage of the Wisła programme - more than 37 billion zlotys.

The amount in question has been renegotiated, without any changes made to the initial assumptions pertaining to the combat capabilities of the Wisła system. The savings stem from the fact that the Polish Ministry of Defence accepted implementation of IBCS in a form and configuration equivalent to the US system’s shape in 2022. The plans that had been made previously had more ambitious shape. Furthermore, some elements of the Wisła system would be delivered by the Polish industry - here we are referring to vehicles and containers (ECSs). The price of the aforesaid building blocks has already been included in the amount of USD 4.75 billion dollars, mentioned by the head of the MoD on Wednesday.

Both batteries planned to be acquired during Phase I of the Wisła programme are going to be delivered in 2022. Information above was released by the Deputy Head of the Polish Ministry of Defence, Wojciech Skurkiewicz, back in February. Originally the Polish Ministry of Defence had assumed that the first battery could be delivered until the end of 2022, with the second one following a year later. On the other hand, at the time the former Minister Macierewicz was mentioning deadlines that could be even more ambitious, but for a configuration of the system with limited capabilities. The delays that could potentially emerge may be related to the requirement to integrate elements of the Polish and US origin, or to development of the IBCS suite. In both cases the professionals working at the Polish Ministry of Defence remain optimistic. In particular, the information provided by the US suggests that IBCS has left its infancy far behind, while the development plan is assumed to be realistic.

It is until 2022 when the payment concerning the Phase I of the Wisła programme is to be finalized. The amounts spent by the Polish Ministry of Defence annually are going to be virtually the same. This month the Polish Ministry of Defence announced, responding to a parliamentary inquiry submitted by one of the MPs, that 17.1 billion zlotys would be allocated to the air defence programmes in total, between 2018 and 2022.

Conclusion of the Agreement concerning the first phase of the Wisła programme preceded conclusion of two offset agreements, including 46 commitments in total, distributed across a term of a decade. The offset related to the Wisła system is worth 950 million zlotys. Polish MoD has concluded agreement with Lockheed Martin including 15 offset commitments valued at 725 million zlotys. The offset is going to make it possible to manufacture and maintain PAC-3 MSE launchers, manufacture some elements of the said effectors. Furthermore a missile testing laboratory is expected to be established. Finally Lockheed Martin also promised to establish new F-16 jet maintenance capabilities in Poland.

It is until 2022 when the payment concerning the Phase I of the Wisła programme is to be finalized. The amounts spent by the Polish Ministry of Defence annually are going to be virtually the same. This month the Polish Ministry of Defence announced, responding to a parliamentary inquiry submitted by one of the MPs, that 17.1 billion zlotys would be allocated to the air defence programmes in total, between 2018 and 2022.

Conclusion of the Agreement concerning the first phase of the Wisła programme preceded conclusion of two offset agreements, including 46 commitments in total, distributed across a term of a decade. The offset related to the Wisła system is worth 950 million zlotys. Polish MoD has concluded agreement with Lockheed Martin including 15 offset commitments valued at 725 million zlotys. The offset is going to make it possible to manufacture and maintain PAC-3 MSE launchers, manufacture some elements of the said effectors. Furthermore a missile testing laboratory is expected to be established. Finally Lockheed Martin also promised to establish new F-16 jet maintenance capabilities in Poland.

On the other hand, Raytheon made 31 offset-related promises, the value of which is quoted at 224 million zlotys. The company is expected to make it possible for Poland to acquire command and control abilities based on IBCS, manufacture and maintain launchers and loading/cargo platforms, as well as to create a certified facility that would deal with administration of and manage the manufacturing, maintenance and customization processes pertaining to the Wisła system and other air defence measures. 30 mm Bushmaster cannon manufacturing and maintenance ability is also expected to be acquired.

Wisła is the primary programme in the Polish military’s technical modernization plan. The acquisition would be divided into two phases. This assumption has been made by the Polish Ministry of Defence last year. The agreement signed back on Wednesday primarily concerns the first stage. Even though some of the acquisitions (IBCS, PAC-3 MSE missiles) are expected to be valid for both phases, more procurement processes may be expected in case of the second contract. Polish Ministry of Defence is going to acquire another six Patriot batteries, including the 360 degrees coverage radars and SkyCeptor missiles - both of which are under development now. The latter element was a subject to ambitious offset plans, which usually increases the procurement cost. Polish sensors are also expected to become a part of the Wisła system. The negotiation pertaining to Phase II is planned to commence in mid-April. Mateusz Morawiecki mentioned deliveries of the assets on Tuesday, specifying 2024 as the potential date when the process could be finalized.

CommentsComments: 2
Nero
czwartek, 29 marca 2018, 22:26

Well done Poland. Greetings from Romania.