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US Congress OKs sale of Hellfire missiles to Poland: defence minister

01.04.2023 12:00
The US Congress has cleared the sale of 800 Hellfire missiles to Poland, the Polish defence minister has announced, amid Russia's more than 13-month-long war in neighbouring Ukraine.
Mariusz Błaszczak.
Mariusz Błaszczak.PAP/Paweł Supernak

"The US Congress has approved the purchase by Poland of 800 Hellfire missiles, to be used by Polish AW149 support helicopters and ultimately by the Apache machines," Mariusz Błaszczak said in a tweet on Saturday.

"We are starting price negotiations," he added.

The announcement came after Błaszczak last month said that the US State Department had greenlighted the deal. 

The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in mid-March that the US State Department had authorized the sale of "AGM-114R2 Hellfire missiles and related equipment" to Poland for an estimated cost of USD 150 million.

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 includes technical assistance, spare parts, repair, storage and “other related elements of logistics and program support,” officials have said.

The US State Department said last month that the proposed sale would "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 Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.

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.

An Apache attack helicopter fires Hellfire missiles at a target during a military exercise. An AH-64 Apache attack helicopter fires Hellfire missiles at a target during a military exercise. Photo: Georgia National Guard from United States, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Saturday is day 402 of Russia's war on Ukraine. 


Source: IAR, PAP, dsca.mil