Poland Decides to Acquire Patriot Missile Defense System

US Patriot battery in Turkey, Feb. 4, 2013From Aaron Mehta and Pierre Tran, Defense News:  Poland has selected the US Patriot system and the Airbus Caracal helicopter as the European nation faces an increasingly aggressive Russia.

A spokesman at the Polish Embassy in Washington confirmed that the nation has chosen the Patriot over the Aster 30, a system offered by a European consortium of MBDA and the Thales Group.

“The Council of Ministers, on the recommendation of National Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak, has selected the US Patriot missiles for Poland’s medium range missile defense system,” the statement reads. “At the same time the Council of Ministers has authorized the Minister of National Defense to further negotiate and conclude the agreement with the US authorities on behalf of the government of Poland.”

The competition was based on an analysis of “technical criteria, military cooperation, transfer of technology and industrial cooperation,” the statement added.

The US Embassy in Warsaw posted a statement online calling the decision an “important moment in the security partnership between Poland and the United States” and hinting at future industrial cooperation through co-production and development on the program.In an emailed statement, Dan Crowley, president of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, said the company “appreciates” Poland’s selection.

“We are prepared to fully address Polish government, industry, and military expectations so as to meet Poland’s long-term objectives for this important program, which is vital to the country’s national security interests,” Crowley wrote.

Developed by Raytheon, the Patriot is used by the US Army along with fifteen partner nations. That includes Poland’s NATO partners Spain, the Netherlands, Greece and Germany.

From Hiawatha Bray, Boston Globe: A statement issued by the Polish government on Tuesday said Poland plans to acquire eight Patriot batteries by 2025, including two to be deployed in the first three years of the deal. The Polish government will also require Raytheon to share its technical know-how with Polish companies, which will assist in building and maintaining the Patriot system.

Image: US Patriot battery in Turkey, Feb. 4, 2013 (photo: Glenn Fawcett/Department of Defense)