Poland, United States sign $4.75 billion deal on Patriot missiles
“It is an extraordinary, historic moment; it is Poland’s introduction into a whole new world of state-of-the-art technology, modern weaponry, and defensive means,” Poland’s President Andrzej Duda said during the signing ceremony.
NATO member Poland has sped up efforts to overhaul its armory following Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014 and Moscow’s renewed military and political assertiveness in the region.
Two-thirds of Polish weaponry dates from the era when the country was in the Moscow-led Warsaw Pact.
The Patriot deal comes as a relief for Poland which remains in tense relations with Washington, its main NATO ally, over a bill that Warsaw introduced in January to impose jail terms for any suggestion of Poland’s complicity in the Holocaust.
The Wednesday deal is for four Patriot fire units, and Warsaw is negotiating with Washington to buy more Patriot systems, a new 360-degree radar and a low-cost interceptor missile as part of a second phase of development. ■