Lockheed Martin: JASSM for Polish F-16 performed flight tests. Talks on Javelins
The American Lockheed Martin group is already engaged in missile programs for the Polish Armed Forces in connection with the Warsaw purchase of the Patriot system with PAC-3 MSE missiles and JASSM and JASSM-ER maneuvering missiles. Americans are currently looking at further Polish modernization programs offering, among others, HIMARS rocket artillery and Javelin anti-tank missiles. These issues were covered in the conversation between Defence24.pl and Frank St. John, Executive VP for Missiles and Fire Control at the Farnborough 2018 Trade Fair.
It should be stressed that the Lockheed Martin corporation is offering the Javelin anti-tank missiles for the Polish armed forces. This weapon could be provided, among others for the equipment of the Territorial Defense Forces. "Javelines are already integrated with US Stryker armored fighting vehicles and we have demonstrated the capability of their easy integration with other vehicles as well. Javelin can eliminate all modern types of armor. They were tested against the most advanced threats we know, including the Russian armor of the future. We are currently at an early stage of talks about whether these capabilities can be delivered to Poland.”
Frank St. John also emphasizes that Javelin's missiles have already been provided to the neighbors of Poland, including NATO members such as Lithuania and Estonia. In the Lockheed Martin representative opinion, this weapon greatly increases the deterrence potential, and also offers new abilities related to the "fire and forget" system.
Lockheed Martin representative also spoke about the Homar rocket artillery program. According to Frank St. John in case of Polish contract is possible a hybrid solution, which provides that the first units will be delivered with use of the FMS program, and the remaining units will be built in cooperation within the Polish industry. "Our industrial approach involves the creation of a Polish manufacturing plant for guided GMLRS missiles. This is part of the industrial offer. So I think that our offer is ahead of what our competitors propose” – stressed Frank St. John.
However, it should be mentioned here that the conversation was conducted before the change in the concept of implementation of the program by the Ministry of National Defense. On July 20th, the Ministry informed about closing the negotiations with consortium led by PGZ, which was to implement the program in cooperation with a foreign partner, and to start talks on the implementation of the Homarprogram with the US Government. At the present stage, it is not known to what extent these declarations of the US company are consistent with the current vision of the Ministry.
This is the concluded contract for Wisla program with Polish Government, that allow Lockheed Martin to think about future programs.This is due to the fact that what Frank St. John has stressed frequently, the US corporation cooperates with the same companies on the Wisla program, as in the case of Homar.
Meanwhile, the mid-range AMD system contract to which LM supplies the PAC-3 MSE missiles has already been signed. Regarding the current status of the implementation of the Wisla program Frank St. John said:
"LOA has been signed. We work with the US Government on our part of the Patriot ammunition contract. We also work with the Polish industry on various industrial cooperation programs in matter of Wisla. This process related to signing all planned contracts will take about 12 months.”
Recent project in which Lockheed Martin is involved in Poland is the supply of JASSM and JASSM-ER maneuvering missiles for F-16 fighters. "We are after the flight tests period on modified F-16 fighters, we have already built missiles in the production version and we will deliver them to Poland in the near future" - explains Frank St. John. In the first place, Poland will receive missiles in the AGM-158A version with a range of 370 km, which were contracted in 2014 under F-16 modernization program. AGM-158B missiles capable of hitting targets at distance of about 1000 km, which Poland procured in 2016, will be delivered later.