Poland agrees £4 billion deal with UK for air defence missiles and launchers

Poland has agreed an air defence deal with the UK worth around £4 billion (20 billion zloty) – the largest ever commercial agreement between the two countries.

The arrangement will see the British arm of European missile maker MBDA supply Warsaw with over 1,000 CAMM-ER surface-to-air missiles and more than 100 launchers.

🇬🇧🤝🇵🇱 European security will be boosted through a new ground-based air defence agreement signed by @MBDA_UK and @PGZ_pl today.

This hugely significant deal between the 🇬🇧 and 🇵🇱 will deliver systems able to engage air threats more than 40km away.

👉 https://t.co/KdCigWQZDT pic.twitter.com/gEGHaUXlOv

— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) November 7, 2023

The equipment, which has been contracted by Polish state defence holding group PGZ, will be integrated into Poland’s Narew air defence programme. It follows a £1.9 billion deal earlier this year for Poland to buy the UK’s CAMM missile system.

“This is another crucial step forward for our historic defence ties with Poland, supplying next-generation air defence capabilities to act as a clear deterrent to our adversaries,” said Britain’s defence secretary, Grant Shapps.

“The scale and ambition of Narew is truly impressive – building a Polish air defence shield using our CAMM family missiles and launchers that will protect the entirety of Poland’s skies,” added Chris Allam, managing director of MBDA UK.

Both Schapps and Allam, as well as Polish defence minister Mariusz Błaszczak, noted that the deal will also involve technology transfers to Poland that will allow the production of missiles and launchers at Polish facilities.

Dziś @PGZ_pl i #MBDA zawarły kolejną umowę przemysłową w programie Narew, w wyniku której polski przemysł obronny dostarczy Siłom Zbrojnym RP ponad 1000 rakiet CAMM ER oraz ponad 100 wyrzutni. Jej wartość przekracza 4 mld funtów (ok. 20 mld złotych). Umowa obejmuje również… pic.twitter.com/lnsPWL3GS1

— Mariusz Błaszczak (@mblaszczak) November 7, 2023

Poland’s three-part air defence programme consists of the Wisła long-range, Narew short-range, and Pilica+ very short-range missile defence systems.

While Poland the Narew programme had already been established before the war in Ukraine, Russia’s invasion prompted Warsaw to accelerate the plans, bringing the delivery of the first British CAMM missile systems forward by five years.

Last year, the UK also deployed its most advanced radar and missile defence system, Sky Sabre, to Poland to counter the escalating Russian threat.

Meanwhile, Poland has also signed billions of dollars worth of defence procurement deals with the United States and South Korea, as it seeks to build what Błaszczak claims will be Europe’s most powerful land forces.

The US will loan Poland $2bn to support the modernisation of the Polish military through the procurement of American equipment and services https://t.co/aqma0dqg3z

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) September 26, 2023

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Main image credit: Sławomir Kozioł/18 Dywizja Zmechanizowana/X

Daniel Tilles is editor-in-chief of Notes from Poland. He has written on Polish affairs for a wide range of publications, including Foreign PolicyPOLITICO EuropeEUobserver and Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.

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