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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

US State Dept. OKs sale of anti-tank missiles to Poland

05.03.2020 07:30
The US Department of State has approved the sale of 180 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 79 launch units and related equipment to Poland for an estimated cost of USD 100 million, the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on Wednesday.
A Javelin anti-tank missile launcher.
A Javelin anti-tank missile launcher.Photo: EPA/NAKE BATEV

The planned deal aims to “support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a NATO ally and partner nation which is an important force for peace, political stability, and economic progress in Eastern Europe," the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said.

“This proposed sale of the Javelin system will help Poland build its long-term defense capacity to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity in order to meet its national defense requirements,” the DSCA said in a statement.

It added that “Poland will have no difficulty absorbing this system into its armed forces.”

The prime contractors will be “Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture, Orlando, Florida and Tucson, Arizona,” the agency also said. 

Poland's Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak tweeted that the purchase was designed to benefit his country’s territorial defence force.

He said: "Soon our Territorial Defence Force will be provided with Javelin launchers and missiles. The US Department of State has approved the sale. We are waiting for Congress's approval and are starting price negotiations."

Under US law, the deal has yet to be approved by Congress.

Javelin & Hercules 

The announcement by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency came after Poland’s Błaszczak announced in September that his country was seeking to buy a batch of Javelin anti-tank missiles and five Hercules transport aircraft from the United States.

Błaszczak at the time took part in the signing of a formal letter of request to the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency in a televised ceremony in the south-central Polish city of Kielce.

He told reporters that Poland was interested in buying 180 Javelin anti-tank guided missiles and 60 launchers complete with a training and logistics package.

The letter of request also concerned the purchase of five C-130 Hercules transport airplanes from surplus US military stocks, according to Błaszczak.

He said that the machines would be younger than those already in use by the Polish air force and that the potential deal had already been cleared by the US Congress.

F-35, HIMARS & Patriot

Poland’s government in January signed a USD 4.6 billion deal to buy 32 state-of-the-art F-35 fighter jets from the United States in what officials hailed as a new era for the Polish air force and a key step in boosting the country’s defences.

In February last year, Poland signed a deal to buy 20 HIMARS artillery rocket systems from America for USD 414 million as part of a military modernisation drive.

Poland in March 2018 signed what officials described as a historic deal to buy an American Patriot air defence system for USD 4.75 billion.

Meanwhile, the Polish president in October 2017 signed into law plans to steadily increase the country’s defence spending to 2.5 percent of GDP by 2030.

(gs/pk)

Source: PAP, dsca.mil