Poland to acquire surface-to-air Patriot systems

Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz announced on 31 March that Poland is willing to sign a deal with the US Raytheon company to buy eight surface-to-air Patriot missile systems. The USD7.6 billion contract is a part of a larger plan for modernisation of the Polish Armed Forces until 2023.

Poland has intensified its efforts to upgrade its armed forces in 2014, following the Russian annexation of Crimea, however, many of the projects were too ambitious, such as the discussed acquisition of the F-35 Lightning II. The purchase of the anti-missile system like the Patriot aims to increase Poland's stand-alone ability to protect the country’s airspace and to serve as an element of deterrence. The deal must be approved by the United States Congress; Raytheon’s representatives also said that the deal is far from being done. Russia's reaction is also a concern as it will likely consider the missile system a threat. Poland also augmented its participation in NATO as it conducted or took part in many military exercises and hosted multinational forces with the task of strengthening NATO's eastern border.

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