The US DoD has placed order with the Raytheon company, worth more than 1.5 billion dollars, concerning the elements of the Patriot air/missile defence system. The product is being acquired by Poland via the Foreign Military Sales procedure. This constitutes an important step, within the process of implementing phase I of the Wisła air defence programme.
According to the release issued by the Pentagon, the agreement is worth 1.528 billion dollars. It is a modification of the prior contract, within which Patriot fire units are being acquired. Raytheon company acts as the contractor while the work is to be carried out in Andover, Massachusetts, at the White Sands range in New Mexico and in Merrimack, New Hampshire.
The work is going to be carried out until 31st December 2022. The DoD acts as the Ordering Party, as it is also a party to the LOA signed with Poland in March this year, concerning the procurement of the Patriot system. A similar approach is usually used in case of the FMS acquisitions made by other states. For instance, back in November last year Romania signed a LOA concerning the first Patriot battery, while the Pentagon has placed the order with regards to the first fire unit in May.
The deadline for completion of works announced by the Pentagon is concurrent with the date of delivery of the Phase I Wisła systems. The contract probably covers the main elements of the Patriot system, for instance the launchers, command elements including the ECS systems, sector-scanning radars and systems integration. However, the agreement probably does not include the PAC-3 MSE missiles that are being delivered by Lockheed Martin and IBCS components, manufactured by Northrop Grumman.
The procurement made by the Pentagon, with regards to the individual contractors (or even acquisition of the system from a single contractor in parts), within the framework of separate agreements is also a standard process in case of the Foreign Military Sales. For instance HIMARS missiles and GMLRS rockets are usually a subject to separate agreements, in case of procurements as such.
The contract concluded by the Pentagon pertains to Phase I of the Wisła programme, and it is a natural consequence of the intergovernmental contract concluded back in March. This is an important step towards completion of the air defence programme. It shall be expected that further orders are going to be placed by the DoD soon, for instance concerning the PAC-3 MSE missiles for Poland. The fact that the agreement signed defines initiation of implementation of only some of the works explains the difference between the value of that agreement and the FMS agreement value.
Within the framework of Phase I of the Wisła programme, valued at USD 4.75 billion (with 4.6 billion dollars covered within the framework of FMS), Poland would acquire two Patriot batteries (Fire Units) with 16 M903 launchers, 208 live missiles and four sector-scanning radars and elements of the IBCS system as well, including six Engagement Operations Centres and 12 IFCN relays. Phase I of the Wisła programme also includes technical support and IBCS elements for both phases.
Ten agreements in total are to constitute the Phase I of the Wisła programme. Five would be signed with foreign entities. Apart from the main agreement signed in March, here we need o mention the agreement concerning training activities and MIDS terminals fitted with LVT modules signed during the MSPO event, and another, yet to be signed contract, concerning the cryptographic equipment. Some elements, such as vehicles or communication suites would be acquired directly from the Polish industry, within the framework of five domestically signed contracts.
The MoD is also involved in negotiation concerning phase II of the Wisła programme, within the framework of which six batteries integrated with 360 degrees coverage radars would be acquired, while the remaining two batteries would undergo upgrades and they are also going to receive new radars. Furthermore, Wisła systems would also receive low-cost interceptor missiles (probably: SkyCeptor), while IBCS is going to be integrated with the Polish early warning radars: active P-18PL and passive PCL-PET systems.
Phase II of the Wisła programme assumes an a much broader transfer of technology for the Polish industry, with regards to all elements of the system. When it comes to the radar that would provide 360 degrees coverage, sensor as such is planned to be acquired, and it is going to be of the same type as the radar that is acquired by the US Army within the framework of the LTAMDS programme. The above is to diminish risks and costs entailed by acquisition of a unique solution. Col. Michał Marciniak,
Plenipotentiary for the Wisła programme, recently told us, in an interview for SKANER Defence24, that the Ministry already made a decision to fuse Wisła and Narew programmes which means that both systems are going to be integrated on the basis of IBCS.