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Poland Increases Defence Expenditure By Over 11% in 2020

Photo: Maciej Szopa/
Photo: Maciej Szopa/

According to the Polish budgetary deal, the 2020 defence expenditure limit would be defined as almost 49.997 billion zlotys, the MoD reported during the meeting of the Parliamentary National Defence Committee. The above constitutes an increase of 11.3% when compared to the preceding year.

For the first time in the recent period, the defence spending would be equivalent to the level of 2.1% of GDP. The above increase is aligned with the long-term policy adopted to reach the level of 2.5 percent of GDP in 2030. This stems directly from the Act on Reconstruction, Modernization and Financing of the Armed Forces.

The relevant bill has been approved by the Committee. 49.015 PLN billion (approx. 13.07 USD billion) has been included in the portion of the budget allocated to national defence. Meanwhile, amount of 785.6 million zlotys has been allocated to other portions of the expenditure, covering the spending related to the Police and other services subordinated to the Ministry of Interior and Administration, Polish HEMS, prosecutor’s office and higher education. Almost 25% of the budget (12.395 billion zlotys) covers the personal expenses - remuneration and pay of the soldiers and employees of the military. Meanwhile, capital expenditure, including procurement, civil engineering investments, overhauls and modernization amount to more than 29% of the defence budget (14.847 billion zlotys). Statutory requirement is that at least 20% of the budget is allocated to this area.

13.413 billion zlotys (approx. 3.51 USD billion) would be spent on modernization, as follows:

  • Air Defence System - expenditure of 763.5 million zlotys. Within the scope of this domain, deliveries of the Piorun and Poprad systems are to be continued, along with deliveries of the combined SAM/AAA Pilica system; Wisła (IBCS/Patriot) air/missile defence system funding is going to continue as well;
  • Integrated C4ISR – 1.058 million zlotys. This refers to procurement of ICT nodes, cable vehicles, radios, GSM receivers, satellite terminals, command stations, IFF systems, mail modules, modifications made to the combat platforms, cryptography protection hardware and telecommunications hardware;
  • 'Counteracting the naval threats – 858.9 million zlotys;
  • Modernization of the Armoured and Mechanized Units, namely, continuation of modernization of the Leopard 2 main battle tanks - so that they reach the 2PL standard – 806.6 million zlotys. Delays in that programme were a subject to harsh criticisms during the meeting of the Committee. Nonetheless, representatives of the MoD declared that the first main battle tanks in a new version would enter service in January this year.
  • IMINT and satellite reconnaissance systems – 134.0 million zlotys;
  • Personal equipment and weapons for the individual soldiers – “TYTAN” System - 47.2 million zlotys;
  • Modernization of the Rocket/Missile/Artillery Component – 1307 thousand zlotys (Regina modules with Krab self-propelled howitzers, Rak self-propelled mortars, continued financing of acquisition of the Homar multiple rocket launch systems);
  • Simulators and training systems – 196.5 million zlotys;
  • AJT Advanced Jet Trainers – 441,1 million zlotys;
  • Rosomak APC programme – 186.6 million zlotys;
  • Spike ATGM for APCs – 134.7 million zlotys.

The objectives listed would be covered with an amount of 6 billion zlotys. So what about the remaining 7.4 billion? This amount would be allocated to acquisition of the F-35 for instance. As Wojciech Skurkiewicz, Undersecretary of State, said: “When it comes to Harpia, detailed information would be released after the contract is signed. And this is to happen by the end of January. Assets to cover this have been already reserved, similarly as construction investment associated.” The expenditure is to cover other matters as well, including acquisition of C-130H Hercules aircraft, guided air-to-ground and short range air-to-air missiles for the F-16C/D, high mobility vehicles for the air-mobile units, EOD/IED support robots, pontoon bridges, individual weapons, night vision and optical systems, container and tracked vehicle transport sets, tank trucks for transporting fuel and water and IT hardware and software. Type 151 (Orkan-class) warships, BPz-2 armoured recovery vehicles and NUR-12 radars are all going to be subjected to a modernization. Money is also going to be allocated to modification of the BWR-1S/D platform. One should remember that the information dedicated for the Committee only lists some of the programmes. The exhaustive list is going to be undoubtedly a broader one.

It is assumed that 111,500 professional soldiers would serve in the military by the end of 2020, along with 29,000 members of the Territorial Defence component (or more, should more volunteers be present). Interestingly, the costs associated with functioning of the Territorial Defence Component went up, with the associated capital expenditure going down, given the fact that this branch of the military is becoming increasingly more saturated with modern equipment.

Average pays are as follows: 5,681 zlotys in case of soldiers, 4,773 zlotys in case of the civil service employees and 4,210 zlotys in case of the remaining civil service employees.