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Polish PM visits America’s biggest arms maker to speed up weapons supplies

12.04.2023 20:30
The Polish prime minister has met with executives at Lockheed Martin, America's biggest defence contractor, to discuss options to speed up the delivery of US military equipment to his country, according to officials.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki speaks to reporters at a Lockheed Martin aircraft plant in Marietta, Georgia, in the United States, on Wednesday, April 12, 2023.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki speaks to reporters at a Lockheed Martin aircraft plant in Marietta, Georgia, in the United States, on Wednesday, April 12, 2023.Twitter/Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland

Mateusz Morawiecki visited Lockheed Martin’s production plant in Marietta, Georgia, on Wednesday, Polish state news agency PAP reported

The prime minister, who is continuing his three-day trip to the United States, told reporters on site: “The purpose of this visit is to accelerate the delivery of US equipment to Poland.”

He noted that the factory in Marietta produces F-35 fighter jets, “the most advanced combat aircraft in the world,” which are due to be supplied to the Polish air force from 2024.

Morawiecki stated: “Poland has joined the elite of countries that will be able to use the world’s most modern fighter and combat jets.”

He also said that Polish pilots were preparing to fly F-35s and were earning “great acclaim” during the training process. 

“Polish pilots are the elite of NATO,” Morawiecki declared.

JASSM-XR missiles for Poland?

Morawiecki told reporters that he would also seek to make Poland “one of the first countries to be equipped with Lockheed Martin’s ‘extreme range’ JASSM precision cruise missiles, the JASSM-XR.” 

He stated: “My long talks here have been very fruitful and I think the whole cooperation will be extended. We may be able to acquire missiles with an extended range. Our security can be strengthened by cooperating with suppliers like this company.”

Morawiecki also said that the Lockheed Martin factory “isn’t just a place where military equipment is created,” but also “a place where security is created, including the security of Poland.”

He added that Poland has "tripled" its defence spending "in the last few years" and "become a partner for major arms companies from around the world.”

Lockheed Martin to produce ammunition in Poland?  

He revealed that he had spoken to Lockheed Martin’s executives about potential cooperation under Poland’s new National Ammunition Programme.

Morawiecki said he was determined “to enhance domestic production of ammunition, by Polish companies,” but added that “Poland is also inviting producers from allied countries," including the United States.

The prime minister described Poland’s new National Ammunition Programme as "the cornerstone of our security,” the PAP news agency reported.   

In late March, the Polish government approved a plan to step up the production of ammunition to support Ukraine’s war effort against the Russian invasion and strengthen Poland’s own defensive potential.

Morawiecki declared at the time that his government would allocate PLN 2 billion (EUR 430 million) for the programme "in the immediate future.”

Wednesday is day 413 of Russia’s war on Ukraine. 


Source: IAR, PAP, defence24.pl 

Click on the audio player above to listen to a report by Radio Poland's Piotr Miszczuk.