15:57 Sep. 7, 2016
Warsaw will create its own anti-ballistic missile defense, buying eight batteries of US Patriot batteries
Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz has confirmed plans to purchase the American Patriot system, ending speculation that the ministry might overturn a decision taken by the previous government, Polish radio says.
Raytheon's Patriot system was chosen as Poland's future anti-ballistic missile system by the Civic-Platform led government in April 2015, seeing off competition from an MBDA and Thales consortium. Following the victory of the Law and Justice party in elections last October, the government has been re-examining defense tenders, including both the Patriot system and a purchase of French Caracal helicopters.
Today Macierewicz announced a decision about the "dispatch of a letter of request to the United States Government and the Raytheon company concerning the order of the Patriot missile defense system".
He said Poland would purchase eight Patriot batteries, of which two would arrive by 2019. The remaining six will be delivered post-2020.
According to the minister, the Patriots will include a sophisticated 360-degree radar currently being developed, as well as the new and advanced "SkyCeptor" hit-to-kill missile. They are capable of intercepting short- to medium-range ballistic and cruise missiles. The final cost of the purchase is not yet specified.
As we reported earlier, last month Russian pilot was officially accused of violating Poland's airspace. Yesterday Russian war plane invaded Estonian airspace.
Patriot air and missile defence system (Infographics by Raytheon)