One of the most important officials that accompanies the French President, Emmanuel Macron, during his visit to Poland, is the Minister of the Armies, Florence Parly. She visited the WB Group’s showroom at the Plac Konstytucji in Warsaw where she met the hosts and the highly ranked representative of the French Thales company. Representatives of both companies informed the French official about the joint undertakings.
Parly attended a presentation showcasing the collaboration between WB Group and Thales, also getting acquainted with the growth potential of the Polish company. The history of the Polish-French cooperation within that domain has been going for more than 25 years now. It began with memorandums signed by and between the French Thomson and the state-owned Polish Radmor company, back in mid-1990s. The Poles took over IFF technologies from France and soon afterwards, tech required to create PR4G digital radios was absorbed. The radios created on the basis of the aforesaid solutions made a significant contribution to the process of introducing modern digital communication systems in the Polish military.
Parly admitted that the presentation was very interesting and she also took notice and interest in the cooperation between the two parties, also stating that it still has a significant growth potential. She referred to it as a potential foundation for further intensification of collaboration between the states as well.
The French politician also said that she attended the meeting to encourage both businesses to work more intensely and to show the “other companies” that fruitful cooperation as such is possible.
Adam Bartosiewicz, Vice-President of the Management Board at the WB Group, recalled the fact that cooperation between Thales and Radmor that since some time has been a part of the WB Group, has been now going on for 26 years. “We have inherited that cooperation and we are still trying to develop ourselves. This in fact is the history of digitization of the Polish communications. The radios created as a result are used on all of the vehicles of the Polish military (...) There is also a joint European project that Radmor works on together with Thales, as the main participants. It is referred to as ESSOR [European Secure Software Defined Radio]. Here it is all about making it possible for different European armies to communicate. This project is 11 years old already.”
Bartosiewicz noted that there is a major potential available to expand the cooperation between WB and Thales. “There is a lot of space available in the electronic warfare domain for instance where Thales has a significant amount of experience and we could also get involved in integration effort as such”. Bartosiewicz also hoped that political support would also emerge for the WB Group’s products on the French market. It shall be recalled that the Polish FlyEye Mini UAV system was offered to the French Armed Forces along with the Safran Group.
Herve Multon, Executive Vice-President at Thales emphasized the Radmor’s role in the ESSOR project. He stated that ESSOR is a language that the EU is making investment in to have common communications for all of the European radios. And since the very beginning, Radmor has been one of the pillars in this effort, Multon added, also noting that the work currently involves 6 nations. He also emphasized the fact that it’s not the Europe as a whole, but all the other states will need to collaborate in this program in the future.
Parly’s visit falls well within the rhetorics of the French visit to Poland as a whole, aimed at creating a significant closure between France and Poland, in defence and economic domains included. Noteworthy, the visit has taken place only a few days after Poland signed the F-35 procurement contract which, as we can see, had no detrimental impact on the European relations.