Poland Could Select Antimissile System Bid Next Month

Poland could decide in June which of four proposed antimissile systems it will purchase to bolster domestic defenses, an industry official said.

There is "a good chance" that Warsaw could select a foreign contractor bid as early as next month or July,  Marty Coyne, who leads air and missile defense business development for Lockheed Martin, told Reuters.

As a result of reinvigorated fears about threats from Russia following Moscow's incursion into Ukraine, Poland announced in March that it was drastically shortening its schedule for purchasing an antimissile system and wanted to have selected a bid by year's end.

The Polish government says it wants a system to defend against ballistic missiles that could be fired from close to its borders.

Four competing proposals have been filed from the U.S. firm Raytheon; the Israeli government; a Lockheed Martin-led consortium that produces the Medium Extended Air Defense System; and a consortium of France's Thales, the European firm MBDA and a Polish state defense group. The contract could be worth approximately $5 billion, according to the Lockheed-led consortium.

"There's clearly a sense of urgency" for moving forward with the project, Coyne said.

Warsaw would like the project completed no later than the end of 2022. The Polish antimissile system is expected to be linked to the broader NATO ballistic missile shield in Europe.

May 14, 2014
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Poland could decide in June which of four proposed antimissile systems it will purchase to bolster domestic defenses, an industry official said.

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