Mariusz Błaszczak made the announcement via social media on Thursday, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
Błaszczak, who is also Poland’s defence minister, said in a tweet: “The US State Department has approved the purchase by Poland of 800 HELLFIRE missiles, which will form the equipment of Polish AW149 support helicopters.”
He added: “The missiles will be fitted onto helicopters by PZL Świdnik. We are awaiting notification from the United States Congress.”
800 Hellfire missiles for Poland for USD 150 million
Earlier on Thursday, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement: “The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Poland of AGM-114R2 Hellfire missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $150 million.”
The agency added: “The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.”
US lawmakers are “almost certain” to approve the sale, the IAR news agency reported.
According to the US State Department, Poland has requested to buy 800 AGM-114R2 Hellfire missiles and four M36 Hellfire Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM).
The order also includes technical assistance, spare parts, repair, storage and “other related elements of logistics and program support.”
‘Improving the security of a NATO ally’
The US State Department said: “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a NATO ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in Europe.”
“The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin Corporation,” the statement added.
The AGM114-R2 is one of the newer variants of the Hellfire, which is a laser-guided, precision anti-tank missile, according to Polish state news agency PAP.
The Hellfire missiles are mainly used by AH-64 Apache helicopters and MQ-9 Reaper drones, and Poland has ordered both of these systems, the PAP news agency reported.
Friday is day 387 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Source: IAR, PAP, US Defense Security Cooperation Agency