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Poland signs deal to buy Hellfire missiles from US: defence minister

30.05.2023 18:00
Poland has signed a deal to buy Hellfire missiles from the United States, the Polish defence minister said on Tuesday, announcing the latest step in his country's efforts to bolster its defences in the wake of Russia's invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.
Mariusz Błaszczak.
Mariusz Błaszczak.PAP/Paweł Supernak

"Today we signed a contract for the supply of Hellfire missiles," Mariusz Błaszczak said in a tweet.

He added that the missiles would be used by Polish "AW149 support helicopters and ultimately by the AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters."

Błaszczak's announcement came after the US Congress earlier this spring cleared the sale of 800 Hellfire missiles to Poland, according to officials.

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 in March 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 at the time.

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

Tuesday is day 461 of Russia's war on Ukraine. 


Source: IAR, PAPdsca.mil