The issue of defence spending was mentioned in the Duda’s speech during the Armed Forces Day. The president called to reach the GDP 2,5% defence spending level in 2024 instead of 2030, should the economic situation make it possible. Duda said that the goal is ambitious, but there is an urgent requirement to modernize the Polish Armed Forces. It is no secret that those money would be used to replace the Soviet-era systems still making the bulk of the Polish Armed Forces Equipment. During the Armed Forces Day on 15th August, the Polish President has also called for a permanent presence of the US Forces in Poland.
According to current law, the Polish Defence spending is set at the level of GDP 2% for the years 2018 and 2019. In 2020 it has to increase to 2,1%, in 2021 – to 2,2% and then gradually to meet the goal of GDP 2,5% in 2030. This increase has been planned thanks to the amended Armed Forces Modernization Act, passed by a large majority and signed by Andrzej Duda in 2017. The law mandating the further defence spending increase should be sent to the Polish Parliament next year.
It is noteworthy that this year, for the first time in history, US F-22 V-generation stealth fighter aircraft took part in the Armed Forces Day. According to the MoD this year, during the central celebration of the Polish Armed Forces Day, the parade was divided into three main parts: marching troops, military vehicles and historical reconstruction groups.
The parade started with the march of the 16 Polish Armed Forces and military universities representative units with their flagship posts and 60 flagships of the units of the Polish Armed Forces. They were followed by American, British, Romanian and Croatian soldiers from the NATO Battalion Battle Group stationed in Orzysz and by more allied countries flagships.
They were followed by the flagship posts of pro-defense organizations, uniformed classes, the Cavalry Squadron of the Polish Army.
The vehicle parade was composed by over 200 wheeled and tracked vehicles, including Rosomak armored personnel carriers, Rak mortars, Krab howitzers, humvee cars, Stryker transporters and Abrams, Twardy and Leopard tanks, as well as Kroton overhead mining transporters, assault ramps and more.
In historical parade participated over 900 reconstructors from various eras. About 650 marching reconstructors and about 260 horse-riding in five marching columns presented: early Middle Ages, Middle Ages, XVII century, XIX century - period of national uprisings and the 20th century.
The air parade with the units of the Air Force and of the Land Forces Aviation, as well as the aircraft of our allies – including US F-22 Raptor aircraft. Above Warsaw, a flight along the Vistula as part of made over 100 aircraft and helicopters. During the air parade it was possible to see in the low flypast over the Vistula river helicopters: Mi-2, W-3, SH-2G, Mi-14, Mi-8, Mi-17, Mi-24 and fixed-wing aircraft: TS-11 Iskra, PZL-130 Orlik, M-28 Bryza, An-28 , C-295M, C-130, M-346, F-16, G550 and B737.