Poland selects Patriot missile system for WISLA programme
The Polish Ministry of National Defence has selected Raytheon's Patriot surface-to-air missile defence system for its multi-billion dollar medium-range air and missile defence (AMD) system programme.
A Polish Embassy in the US spokesman was quoted by DefenseNews as saying that the Patriot system was selected over the Aster 30 sol-air moyenne portée terrestre system offered by Eurosam, a consortium of Thales Group and MBDA.
The embassy said in a statement that the Council of Ministers selected US Patriot missiles following an analysis of 'technical criteria, military cooperation, transfer of technology and industrial cooperation.'
The statement said: "At the same time the Council of Ministers has authorised the Minister of National Defense to further negotiate and conclude the agreement with the US authorities on behalf of the government of Poland."
In July 2014, Poland shortlisted Eurosam and Raytheon to compete for the WISLA programme, which is expected to have a potential value of approximately $7bn.
Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems president Dan Crowley said: "We are prepared to fully address the Polish Government, industry, and military expectations, so as to meet Poland's long-term objectives for this important programme, which is vital to the country's national security interests."
The Polish Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak will visit the US next month to finalise an intergovernmental agreement for the procurement of the Patriot, a long-range air defence system designed to protect soldiers against advanced threats such as aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles in the battlefield.
According to media reports, Poland aims to receive two Patriot batteries within three years of contract signing and an additional five by 2025.
Apart from Patriot, Poland also selected Airbus Helicopters EC725 Caracal helicopter for its $3bn utility helicopter tender, as reported by Reuters.
Under the contract, Airbus will supply 50 EC725s to Poland from as early as 2017.
Image: US Military personnel stand by a Patriot missile battery in Gaziantep, Turkey. Photo: courtesy of DoD. Photo by Glenn Fawcett.