The Deputy Minister of Defence nominated on Monday was discussing the Wisla programme during a meeting of the Parliamentary National Defence Committee, covering the primary modernization programmes pursued by the Ministry.
Skurkiewicz recalled the fact that the US government and the Americans have received the updated offer request. It was in July when decision was made to split the Wisła procurement into two phases. Later, in November, the US Congress approved the Polish acquisition of the Patriot system within Phase I of the Wisła programme. The maximum value of the contract was defined as USD 10.5 billion. At the same time the Polish Ministry of Defence was carrying out a review of LOA (Letter of Order and Acceptance), together with the Americans. The negotiation came to an end on 26th January 2018.
It concerned the LOA, configuration of the systems acquired and the delivery schedule.
After the analysis of cost of the US offer was carried out, a decision was made to change the Phase I configuration to the typical one utilized by the US Army, and to acquire solely the key element of the system via FMS. Meanwhile, the remaining elements will be acquired within the framework of national procedures, from the Polish defence industry.
Skurkiewicz added that this would significantly diminish the cost and accelerate the procurement, as both batteries would be delivered in 2022. Up until now it was assumed that the first battery would be received until the end of 2022, with the second one planned to be supplied a year later.
The Polish official stressed the fact that cost reduction in the Wisła programme shall not be associated with “even the slightest limitation of the system’s combat capabilities”. At the moment the MoD is involved in talks concerning the offset. Only after the agreement is signed within that scope, may the final procurement contract be concluded.
Deputy Minister did not mention any specific pricetag. Last week Mariusz Blaszczak, the head of the MoD, announced that the Ministry is working on signing the Wisla agreement before the end of 2018, also stressing the fact that the price is significantly lower than 10.5 billion dollars. Błaszczak also added that the deliveries would be accelerated.
Poland is willing to procure the Raytheon’s Patriot solution as a part of its Wisła air/missile defence programme. The said system would be coupled with the Northrop Grumman’s IBCS command system.
The information we have published last week suggests that cost reduction is not a result of resigning from IBCS or PAC-3 MSE effectors. Poland is still willing, as announced in November within the Congress notification, to acquire 208 missiles, plus 11 effectors for test purposes.