President announces air defence deal with US

President announces air defence deal with US

The governments of Poland and the US will negotiate an agreement on the purchase by Poland of Patriot medium-range air/missile defence systems, President Bronislaw Komorowski announced Tuesday after talks with the prime minister and defence minister.

On Tuesday the government decided to order the Patriot systems from the US. Negotiations on the deal will be conducted by the Defence Ministry.

In an ongoing helicopter tender the government decided to test H225M machines produced by the Airbus Helicopters company (formerly Eurocopter).

Commenting the decisions, President Komorowski stressed that military modernisation was important in face of the security regress caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

„Security issues (…) and defence, with a special view to the modernisation of the Polish armed forces, were one of the priorities of my presidency”, Komorowski said. He added that the government’s Tuesday decisions enhanced Poland’s military modernisation programme and stressed that an anti-missile shield was the top military priority for Poland.

„Today has seen some very important decisions which will deepen and strengthen the process of modernising the armed forces in a situation where we must (…) seek security for Poland in a generally unsafe world, in which the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which is a military conflict, has caused a regress in security”, the president said.

Komorowski informed that the Polish defence minister will travel to the US in May to negotiate the Patriot deal.

Komorowski announced further military contracts for the Polish army in the near future. In this context he named plans to purchase short-range anti-aircraft systems, UAVs and naval equipment.

„It’s pointless to have a professional army (…) without state-of-the-art equipment”, Komorowski said.

Commenting Poland’s helicopter purchase plans, deputy Defence Minister Czeslaw Mroczek said Airbus Helicopters was the only bidder to meet the tender criteria. Mroczek informed that Poland planned to buy 50 helicopters, not 70 as initially planned.

The US Embassy in Warsaw wrote in a statement that Poland’s decision to purchase Patriot air defence systems was an important step in security cooperation between both countries.(PAP)

Photo: Bartłomiej Zborowski/PAP/EPA
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