Poland has secured multi-billion-dollar agreements with the United States for air-to-air and air-to-surface missile systems to fortify its defence arsenal, following a series of Foreign Military Sales (FMS) approvals by the US State Department.

The aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has reshaped the dynamics of European defence and security, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe. Historically within Russia’s sphere of influence, countries in this region have intensified their integration with the EU and Nato, bolstering defence capabilities in response to perceived threats from Russia, with Poland leading to way in defence spending.

The first agreement in the latest series of Poland-US deals involves the acquisition of AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder missiles, estimated to cost in excess of $219m. This purchase, comprising missiles and related logistics support, is intended to further align Poland’s military capabilities with Nato standards.

The proposed sale shows the enduring partnership between the United States and Poland in advancing regional security objectives, stated the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).

Simultaneously, Poland has secured approval to procure AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) at an estimated cost of $1.69bn. The FMS request is for up to 745 missiles and associated support elements.

Meanwhile, on 8 February, 2024, the US approved Poland’s purchase of Airspace and Surface Radar Reconnaissance Aerostat systems in a deal worth $1.2bn. The acquisition includes Aerostat systems, Airborne Early Warning Radars with Identification of Friend or Foe capability, and electronic sensor systems. 

Poland prioritising missile stocks in latest acquisitions

Poland’s defence market is currently lacking in areas such as ammunition and missile production. The prominence of air and long-range missile attacks by Russia in the Ukraine invasion makes this a high-priority capability for Poland, according to GlobalData’s “Poland Defense Market 2023-2028” report. 

In a third agreement revealed by the DSCA, Poland is set to acquire AGM-158B-2 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles with Extended Range (JASSM-ER) All-Up-Rounds at an estimated cost of $1.77bn.

Poland has emerged as a significant player, with plans to expand its military forces and domestic defence industry. The passage of Poland’s Homeland Defence Act and subsequent negotiations for military equipment demonstrate its commitment to this expansion despite economic challenges such as inflation. 

With the principal contractors including RTX Corporation and Lockheed Martin, these agreements are poised to enhance Poland’s defence capabilities.

The acquisitions mark a milestone in Poland’s efforts to modernise its Air Force and contribute to Nato’s collective defence posture.

As geopolitical tensions evolve, Poland’s strategic investments in defence show its proactive approach to safeguarding its sovereignty and contributing to broader security objectives in Europe and beyond.