Poland to buy £1.9 billion air defence system from UK
Poland has agreed a £1.9 billion (9.9 billion zloty) deal to buy a British air defence system, in what the countries describe as one of the largest bilateral European air defence deals of its kind.
“I am delighted that the UK and Poland’s deep and historic defence ties take another step forward with the signing of the largest ever UK defence export deal with Poland,” said British defence secretary Ben Wallace as the agreement was announced yesterday.
“We are committed to supporting Poland’s defence modernisation plans and this upgraded air-defence programme will ensure that Poland and the UK have the ability to continue safeguarding our people and bolstering NATO security,” added Wallace.
Poland’s defence minister, Mariusz Błaszczak, also hailed the deal for “further increasing the capabilities of Polish air defence”.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Warsaw has embarked on a military procurement spree – mainly from the United States and South Korea – after the government raised defence spending to first 3% and then 4% of GDP, the highest relative level in NATO.
The contract will be fulfilled by the British arm of European missile manufacturer MBDA and will equip 22 Polish air defence batteries with British Common Anti-Air Modular Missiles (CAMMs) and launchers.
The UK has already deployed its own CAMM missiles to Poland as part of its Sky Sabre air defence system. The decision was made shortly before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and implemented after.
“We have played a crucial role in boosting Euro-Atlantic defences since Putin’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine, and this landmark agreement between the UK and Poland is another example of how, alongside our allies, we are committed to protecting our security for generations to come,” said UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak yesterday.
“We are deeply proud that Poland is placing CAMM at the core of their layered air defence systems,” added Chris Allam, managing director of MBDA UK.
“This landmark Polish-UK cooperation will provide a major boost to Poland’s air defence capabilities and bring our defence industries closer together, enabling sovereignty and supporting jobs in both countries,” said Allam.