English Section

Apache helicopters, Abrams tanks will help Poland deter Russia: defence minister

22.08.2023 14:00
Poland has ordered 96 Apache attack helicopters and 360 Abrams battle tanks from the United States as part of efforts to deter Russia, the Polish defence minister has reiterated, amid Moscow's ongoing war against Ukraine.
A US-made Apache attack helicopter.
A US-made Apache attack helicopter.PAP/Darek Delmanowicz

Mariusz Błaszczak made the remarks at a news conference in Warsaw on Tuesday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

The Polish defence minister said: “We are very happy that the US State Department has agreed to sell 96 Apache attack helicopters to Poland. They are the best attack helicopters in the world.”

On Monday, the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced that the US Department of State had approved the sale of 96 Apache helicopters and related equipment to Poland for an estimated cost of USD 12 billion.

Błaszczak told reporters on Tuesday that this would make for “a powerful fleet of attack choppers at Poland’s disposal" as his country bolsters its defences in response to Russia's invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.

The defence minister stated: “The 96 helicopters, together with a total of 360 Abrams tanks, will form an insurmountable barrier ... They will effectively deter Russia from ever invading Poland.”

Błaszczak added that before Poland receives the 96 Apaches specially built for its military, the United States would supply the Polish army with a batch of Apache helicopters from its own stocks in 2024, "as a temporary measure."

The defence minister told reporters that the government was continuing to expand Poland’s helicopter fleet. He declared that "the US-designed Black Hawk utility military helicopters and the European AW149 multi-role military helicopters, both produced in Poland," would "reach the Polish army soon."

Błaszczak on Tuesday also announced that the Polish air force had received two more FA-50 light combat aircraft from South Korea, taking the total to four, with eight more such jets due to arrive in the country by the end of 2023, "out of a total of 48 ordered last year."

On Monday,  the defence minister said that the first K239 Chunmoo rocket artillery launcher had reached the Polish army from South Korea, and “has been mounted on a Polish Jelcz truck,” public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.

Tuesday is day 545 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP

Click on the audio player above for a report by Radio Poland's Michał Owczarek.