Poland accelerates delivery of a new air-defence system amid war in Ukraine

Poland has signed an agreement under which it will receive British air-defence missiles and launchers in September, five years earlier than previously planned, as the government moves to enhance its capabilities amid Russia’s war in neighbouring Ukraine.

“We are drawing lessons from what is happening across our eastern border,” said defence minister Mariusz Błaszczak during a press conference on Thursday to announce the deal.

“Ukraine is defending itself bravely,” he noted, but that is “because it is prepared to defend itself”. The conflict has also shown “how important a role anti-aircraft defence” plays.

The agreement will see Poland receive two units each consisting of three launchers with Common Anti-Air Modular Missiles (CAMM) developed by the British branch of missile manufacturer MBDA. The package will include Polish-made weapon-control devices and transport and loading vehicles.

The contract also provides for training, logistical security and support in the operation of military equipment, the defence ministry said in a statement.

Earlier this year, the UK announced that it would be deploying its latest Sky Sabre air defence system – which uses CAMM missiles – to Poland as part of efforts to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank in response to Russian aggression.

Later on Thursday, in an interview with state broadcaster TVP, Błaszczak added that the first elements of the American Patriot system defence as well as Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones will be delivered to the Polish Army this year.

Last May, Poland became the first NATO member to buy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Turkey. The same drones have been used by Ukraine against invading Russian forces.

Last month Poland announced its plans to buy MQ-9 Reaper drones from the United States in the near future and is eyeing further procurements at a later date, Reuters news agency reported.

Poland boosts defence spending to 3% of GDP to protect against “imperial Russia”

Main image credit: Agnieszka Sadowska / Agencja Wyborcza.pl

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