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07 September 2016

MSPO 2016: Poland Seeks US OK for Raytheon PATRIOT Deal

Poland's government announced it will seek formal US government approval for Raytheon's PATRIOT Integrated Air and Missile Defence System  through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process.

Raytheon 360° PATRIOT AESA with GaN technology during MSPO 2016. (Photo: Robert Czulda)

Poland will seek formal US approval to buy eight PATRIOTmissile defense systems from Raytheon, marking a key move toward closing the estimated U$5 billion deal, the Warsaw government and the US company said yesterday during MSPO. Raytheon agreed to perform at least half the value of the work in Poland, Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said earlier in July.

"Poland's formal request is an important milestone toward becoming the 6th NATO Patriot country and the 14th PATRIOT partner nation," Wes Kremer, President of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, said during MSPO. "Raytheon will continue supporting the US and Polish governments through the FMS process. Poland’s PATRIOT solution provides a proven capability against the evolving threat of ballistic and cruise missiles, and advanced aircraft and drones."

During the FMS process, Raytheon will also partner with Poland's government and industry to finalise offset and industrial participation plans. Raytheon has already signed eight contracts and more than 30 letters of intent with Polish industry.

This is an important milestone as, with lingering austerity measures and new financial pressures, Europe urgently needs proven, interoperable layered missile defence systems and for lower-tier defence, Raytheon’s PATRIOT is one of the only systems that can work together with other nations' systems to share information, assess vulnerabilities, and eliminate threats in real-time.

"For upper tier missile defence, Raytheon-built Standard Missile-3s (SM-3) are now land-based in Romania, and ground has broken on a second sight in Poland that will be operational in 2018," Raytheon said during MSPO 2016. "These land-based sights work with sea-based SM-3s on US ships off the coast of Europe to provide regional, long-range ballistic missile defence protection. On a broader scale, NATO’s Air Command and Control System (ACCS) brings together 300 air surveillance sensor sites and more than 40 radar types located across Europe to safeguard NATO members. Together these systems shape a large majority of the continent's current missile defence protection and Raytheon stands by to support its new and existing partners now and in the days to come."

Sources familiar with the proposed sale said the announcement looked like a firm commitment by Poland to move ahead. As of Tuesday evening, the US government had not yet received the letter of request, but officials expect it to arrive soon. The missile defence tender is central to Warsaw's large-scale military modernisation programme, sped up in response to the Ukraine crisis and Russia's renewed assertiveness in the region.