Poland signs multi-billion deal for US Patriot missiles in move set to prompt Russian FURY

Thursday, March 29, 2018
By Paul Martin

POLAND has signed a multi-billion deal with the US to buy the Patriot missile system in a bid to boost its defences in the face of increasing Russian aggression.

Thu, Mar 29, 2018

The nation started to revamp its armed forces when Moscow annexed the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine in 2014, given that the majority of Poland’s weaponry dates back to the Cold War.

The deal, which is worth $4.75 billion (£3.38 billion), has been hailed as an “extraordinary, historic moment” by Polish President Andrzej Duda.

He said: “This moment ushers Poland into a new world of ultra-modern technology and weaponry.

“This is a new chapter in the history of the Polish army, a huge step forward for the entire Polish army.

“It is a lot of money but we know, also from our historical experience, that security has no price.”

The agreement includes four radars, four combat stations, 16 launchers and 208 PAC-3 MSE missiles, with the first deliveries expected in 2022.

The Polish defence ministry said the Patriot system would be used to combat short-range ballistic missiles and self-propelled rockets, as well as manned and unmanned air strikes, neutralising targets “within seconds”.

Patriot is an advanced surface-to-air missile system designed to defend against aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles used by the US and NATO allies.

This long-awaited deal follows Poland’s pledge to raise its NATO defence spending from the agreed 2 percent to 2.5 percent by 2030.

Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the Patriot agreement showed “solidarity and cooperation” with the United States and other NATO countries.

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