Polish Defence Minister, Antoni Macierewicz, announced, during the Kielce MSPO 2016 defence industry exhibition, that he has signed a decision pertaining to a request, related to procurement of eight Patriot SAM system batteries. The acquisition is expected to be finalized with the assistance provided by the government of the United States.
During the Kielce Defence Salon, Minister Macierewicz stated that he has signed a decision pertaining to issuing of a Letter of Request, addressed to the US Government and the Raytheon company, concerning the procurement of the Patriot anti-aircraft/missile defence system. In total, eight batteries are to be acquired, including two examples which are to be delivered by 2019, as a bridge solution (with intermediary version of the system).
Antoni Macierewicz noted that the first two “bridge” batteries are going to be fitted with the modular IBCS missile and air defence management system. This suite is going to act as a foundation for the prospective integrated air defence system utilized by the US Army.
Another six Patriot batteries, expected to be delivered starting from 2020, are to be received by the Polish Army, along with the 360 degrees coverage radars, based on the latest technologies. Poland is to use the Patriot system enhanced in the way above on par with the United States. Minister Macierewicz noted that Raytheon decided to entrust at least 50% of the Patriot manufacturing process-related orders with the Polish domestic companies, indicated by the Polish party. Polish Defence Minister stated that the above steps would contribute to provision of support for the Polish defence industry and national economy.
Macierewicz also said that numerous “unwise steps” had been taken in relation to the Patriot missile in the past. He noted that the current leadership of the Ministry of Defence had to make efforts to catch up, and that today, an “accessible” arrangement has been achieved, with conditions beneficial both for the Polish economy, as well as for the Polish Army.
Offset is also a part of the agreement, independent from the monetary contribution of the Polish industry to the implementation of the contract. Head of the Polish Ministry of Defence stressed the fact that the quantity of technologies to be received by the Polish industry has been increased by 12.
Submission of the Letter of Request opens a formal procurement process pertaining to the Patriot system, within the framework of the US governmental Foreign Military Sales procedure. As noted by the Defence Minister, the above action is not equivalent to signing of the contract. Thus, the value of the deal has not been disclosed, even though we may expect it to be significant. The amount is to be a subject to further negotiation and talks though.