US to loan Poland $2 billion for purchase of American weapons

The United States has announced a $2 billion (8.7 billion zloty) loan to Poland to support the modernisation of the Polish military through the procurement of American equipment and services.

“Poland is a stalwart US ally, and Poland’s security is vital to the collective defence of NATO’s eastern flank,” said the State Department. “Poland has demonstrated its ironclad commitment to strengthening regional security through its robust investments in defence spending.”

To support those efforts, the US has “signed a milestone foreign military financing direct loan agreement” to provide $2 billion that “will help accelerate Poland’s defence modernisation by supporting urgent procurements of defence articles and services from the United States”.

The US government will itself cover up to $60 million of the costs of the loan.

„The United States is proud to announce the signing of a milestone $2 billion Foreign Military Financing (FMF) direct loan agreement to support Poland’s defense modernization”. 🇵🇱🤝🇺🇸

— Marek Magierowski (@mmagierowski) September 25, 2023

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Poland has embarked on a defence procurement spree. It has ordered hundreds of Abrams tanks from the US, as well as Patriot air defence systems, HIMARS rocket launchers and F-35 combat aircraft, among others.

Yesterday, during a visit to Boeing’s US headquarters yesterday, Poland’s defence minister, Mariusz Błaszczak approved an agreement for the purchase of 96 Apache helicopters for the Polish military.

Today, at Boeing headquarters in 🇺🇸 #Mesa, minister @mblaszczak approved an offset agreement for Apache helicopters. The State Department approved the sale of 96 #Apache to 🇵🇱. The acquisition will allow us to effectively increase our ability to deter a potential aggressor.

— Ministerstwo Obrony Narodowej 🇵🇱 (@MON_GOV_PL) September 25, 2023

Over the last year, Poland has also signed a series of deals with South Korea worth billions of dollars to procure over 1,000 K2 tanks, 672 K9 self-propelled howitzers, 48 FA-50 light combat aircraft and 288 K239 Chunmoo rocket artillery launchers.

To cover those costs, Poland increased its defence budget to 3% of GDP in 2022 and then to 4% this year – which is the highest relative rate in NATO.

Notes from Poland is run by a small editorial team and published by an independent, non-profit foundation that is funded through donations from our readers. We cannot do what we do without your support.

Main image credit: MON (under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 PL)

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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