Poland Indicated Preference for SHORAD missile

Image: MoD via Twitter
Image: MoD via Twitter

Head of the Polish MoD, Mariusz Błaszczak announced that the Armament Inspectorate of the Polish MoD has presented its missile recommendations for the Polish Narew SHORAD system programme. UK-made CAMM missiles would probably be the winning bid. Błaszczak also mentioned accelerated completion of the Miecznik programme, where the British industry has also placed its proposal.

Błaszczak announced with regards to the recommendations made by the Armament Inspectorate in Bemowo Piskie base, that he visited jointly with Ben Wallace, UK Secretary of Defence. The base hosts the British troops, within the framework of the NATO battalion battle group. As stated by the head of the Polish Ministry of Defence, the Armament Inspectorate has concluded that the MBDA CAMM bid is the most prospective one, with those missiles being offered by the British. During the visit, a letter of intent has been signed referring to the related collaboration.

“I am happy with the declaration signed, as it paves the way towards implementation of the Narew programme, air defence programme that would make use of the CAMM missiles. The Armament Inspectorate recommended that the bid submitted by the UK shall be scrutinized first. I hope that further negotiation concerning the conclusion of licensing and performance agreements would proceed fast. I am very happy that the declaration mentions an unprecedented transfer of technologies, which would make it possible for the Polish industry to manufacture, and develop this missile, and to sell the weapon in the future. Of course, all of the above would be done through a joint arrangement with the UK. I do hope that when it comes to shipbuilding, frigates, we would also follow this path at a rapid pace. We are open to discussion. The UK has placed its bid in that domain. The offer is being analyzed, and we will be working to finalize this matter as fast as possible”, Błaszczak said.

The Polish official thanked the UK Secretary of Defence for his personal involvement in the reinforcement of the relationship tied to the security of both nations.

The memorandum also has a geopolitical impact. Ben Wallace said that Poland and the UK will always go hand in hand working together. He added that both nations will not allow for a situation to emerge, in which the crisis on the Belorussian border escalates. Wallace, during the press meeting in Bemowo Piskie, said that the close cooperation between the UK and Poland, that is materializing, may turn into a "one night stand", or into a long-term marriage. He said that given the shared experience, both nations have, the relations between the two states shall rather be viewed as a long-term marriage. Referring to the situation on the border, Wallace suggested that it shall be viewed as a conscious attempt to destabilize Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania, or even the whole of Europe, to make the nations across the continent weaker. He said that it would be the best way to respond through hand-in-hand cooperation, within the framework of NATO and international friendship and partnership. He emphasized the intention not to allow for any further escalation. Wallace appealed to Lukashenko to stop the attempt to use people as a weapon. Wallace said that the offer related to Polish-UK defence industry cooperation remains very much relevant for the UK. He said that the UK is not willing to be perceived as a partner that would only sell the product. Wallace said that it is London's intention for Poland to acquire new capabilities and technologies, with new jobs entailed, and with further enhancement of the Polish defence industry - the industry that should be able to provide security to Poland, and all of its allies. He reiterated that Poland and the UK would go hand-in-hand, establishing the aforesaid cooperation.

The Narew system is to become a part of the inventory of the 3rd “Warszawska” Air Defence Missile Brigade (complementing its Wisła assets), but it is also to be delivered to 4 air defence regiments of the Land Forces (including the newly formed element of the 18th Mechanized Division). It is also possible that Narew assets would also be received by some of the coastal elements of the Navy. The Land Forces would be the primary user nonetheless. Narew is going to replace the Kub, and (partially) Osa systems in the Army. In the Air Force SAM elements Narew system would replace the legacy Neva-SC SAM. 

According to the contractual assumptions, the contracting of all of the Narew elements would be coordinated, and it shall be finalized by 2023. This means that the first live test launch could take place, involving a fully integrated system, in 2026. The Narew system will likely cooperate with the Wisła system through the IBCS C2 system already purchased in the Wisła program along with Patriot missiles, and CAMM missiles have already undergone an initial integration with IBCS.