Jump to search Jump to main navigation Jump to main content Jump to footer navigation

Global Security Newswire

Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

Produced by
NationalJournal logo

Poland to Accelerate Selection of Antimissile System, Given Ukraine Events

U.S. soldiers stand by a Patriot missile-defense battery in May 2010 at an army base in the northern Polish town of Morag. Poland on Thursday announced it would speed the selection of a vendor to provide the country with a domestic antimissile capability amid heightened concerns about Russian aggression. U.S. soldiers stand by a Patriot missile-defense battery in May 2010 at an army base in the northern Polish town of Morag. Poland on Thursday announced it would speed the selection of a vendor to provide the country with a domestic antimissile capability amid heightened concerns about Russian aggression. (Wojtek Radwanski/AFP/Getty Images)

Poland on Thursday said it would speed up the process for choosing a national antimissile system amid worries about Russia's actions in Ukraine.

The decision to drastically shorten the time table for selecting a contractor bid reflects Polish government concerns that Russia could follow its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea with actions against other former Soviet satellite states, Reuters reported.

"The issues related with Poland's air defense will be accelerated," Defense Ministry spokesman Jacek Sonta said. "Poland plans to choose the best offer for its missile defense in the next few weeks."

The government wants to finalize a contract for the acquisition of the missile defense system in 2014, he said.

Warsaw had previously intended to cull the number of contractor proposals by early summer. There are competing bids from four different entities: the Israeli government; a Lockheed Martin-led consortium that produces the Medium Extended Air Defense System; the U.S. company Raytheon; and a consortium of France's Thales, the European firm MBDA and a Polish state defense group.

The contract is worth approximately $5 billion, according to the MEADS consortium. However, analysts estimate the entire cost of providing Poland an air- and missile-defense capability could be as much as $13.1 billion, when maintenance expenses are factored in.

Poland wants its missile shield operational before the end of 2022. The initial phase would consist of eight groupings of medium-range missile interceptors.

The Polish antimissile system is focused on defending against missile threats that could be launched close to Poland's borders, while the U.S. intermediate-range interceptors planned for fielding on Polish soil around 2018 are publicly stated to be aimed at defeating a possible attack from the Middle East. Poland's national system is expected to be integrated with NATO's evolving ballistic-missile defense network, which will also include the U.S. interceptors.

Washington on Tuesday praised Warsaw for its willingness to ramp up military spending -- something the United States and NATO have been urging all European alliance partners to do, according to a Polish-U.S. joint statement released by the State Department on Thursday.

"The United States commended the $45 billion dollar defense modernization investments Poland is making," reads the statement from an annual bilateral strategic dialogue group. "We confirmed that plans are on track to deploy a missile defense site in Poland in the 2018 timeframe as part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach to NATO missile defense."

Note to our Readers

GSN ceased publication on July 31, 2014. Its articles and daily issues will remain archived and available on NTI’s website.

NTI Analysis

  • How to Deal with Russia without Reigniting a Full-Fledged Cold War Psychology

    March 28, 2014

    A new op-ed by former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and NTI Co-Chairman and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn on how to deal with Russia in the crisis over Ukraine, highlighting key areas of common interest where cooperation remains vital.

  • Ukraine Must Not Become a New Berlin Wall

    March 13, 2014

    On Friday, March 14, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. Five statesmen from Germany, Poland, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States call for the urgent formation of a Contact Group of Foreign Ministers to address the crisis and more broadly, create a new approach to building mutual security in the Euro-Atlantic region.

Country Profile

Flag of Russia

Russia

This article provides an overview of Russia’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

View Country Profile →