Israeli Win Unlikely in Polish Antimissile Tender: Report

Israel is unlikely to be chosen by Poland to provide the country with an antimissile system, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing informed Israeli sources.

A strong push by the United States for Warsaw to choose a missile defense system produced by U.S. firms was cited by an unidentified Israeli defense official as the reason that Israel's "David's Sling" offering is unlikely to be picked for the Polish tender, which could be worth as much as $13 billion.

However, David's Sling might be involved in another U.S.-chaired weapons sale to Poland at some point in the future, the source said. "The Americans will be happy, the Poles will be happy, and there'll be something left over for us."

David's Sling is designed to protect against short-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, rockets and drones. The technology -- produced by the Israeli state-managed Rafael Advanced Defense Systems --  is still a year away from being fully commercialized.

Poland is seeking an antimissile system that can give the country lower-tier protection against missiles fired from close to its borders. Russia's recent actions in Ukraine prompted Warsaw earlier this year to speed up its timetable for finalizing a missile defense acquisition contract.

There are two U.S. competitors for the Polish contract: a Lockheed Martin-led consortium that produces the Medium Extended Air Defense System, and the Raytheon-developed Patriot system. Also in the competition is a consortium of France's Thales, the European firm MBDA and a Polish state defense group.

The Polish defense ministry on Wednesday said it was still in the "analytical-conceptual phase" of the contract and that "the public procurement to choose the anti-missile shield and air-defense system has not yet been initiated."

May 15, 2014
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Israel is unlikely to be chosen by Poland to provide the country with an antimissile system, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing informed Israeli sources.