Poland to Bridge the Capability Gap within the “Wisła” Air-Defence Programme?
Polish Armed Forces will try to bridge the capability gap within the scope of air and anti-missile defence with the use of the “Wisła” system. The supplier will be obliged to transfer part of the batteries from the existing resources, in order to accelerate the air-defence capabilities acquisition process.
Czesław Mroczek, MoD Secretary of State, during the meeting of the National Defence Commission, stated that the Polish Army will try to accelerate the process of acquiring capabilities within the scope of air-defence which are to be provided by implementation of the “Wisła” programme. The supplier of the system is to be obliged to provide certain number of batteries from the existing resources, before the target systems are manufactured.
We are going to fill in that capability gap. Next year we will choose the supplier of the system and accelerate the intermediary supplies. The supplier is to guarantee to deliver some of the ordered batteries earlier, in order to provide so called bridge capability. These will come from own resources of the contractor [or] resources of the contractor’s country. The capability is to be provided before the technology would make it possible to create it and manufacture such systems which are to be used for air defence. Which means that, by using the existing systems, the contractor is to guarantee the air defence capabilities a few years earlier.
According to the document which defines the modernisation process - “Technical Modernisation Plan for the Period of 2013-2022” - the Armed Forces are to procure 8 “Wisła” batteries until 2018. Minister of Defence, Tomasz Siemoniak, stated that procurement of 6 batteries until 22, and two subsequent systems after that period expires is planned, however another option is being considered, in case of which 4 batteries would be acquired until 2022 and 4 subsequent examples in the later years.
MoD Secretary of State, Czesław Mroczek at the beginning of November admitted that due to the limited production capabilities acquiring the planned quantity of the “Wisła” batteries may be not possible, and this, at the time, was an issue which was being still discussed with the potential suppliers. At the current stage, “Wisła” programme involves the Raytheon company, with its Patriot missiles and the Eurosam consortium consisting of MBDA and Thales, offering the SAMP/T system. The supplier is to be selected next year