Wisła Programme - Cooperation Between PGZ, Raytheon and Autosan. Letter of Intent has been Signed

  • Chiński lądownik Chang-e 3 na powierzchni Księżyca. Fot.
    Chiński lądownik Chang-e 3 na powierzchni Księżyca. Fot.

The management of the Polish Armaments Group, members of the Autosan company management staff and Vice-President of the US-based Raytheon company, have signed a letter of intent pertaining to cooperation, tied to the Wisła medium range air defence programme.

When the letter of intent was being signed, Defence Minister Macierewicz emphasized the meaning of the said document, within the context of getting ready to implement the Wisła medium range air defence programme. He also stressed that provision of missile defence capabilities is one of the most important Polish goals, when it comes to defence.

In this way we are opening a practical collaboration with Raytheon, during the implementation, or within an opportunity to implement the Patriot programme, the Wisła programme, related to the most important Polish security goal, which is seen in provision of missile defence. We count that inclusion of the Autosan company in the Patriot system, creation of a great service and maintenance centre here for the Patriot system production, [operating] globally, would pave the way towards finalizing this great undertaking, provision of production and procurement of the Patriot missile defence system for Poland, during the upcoming years.

Antoni Macierewicz, Polish Minister of Defence

Polish Minister of Defence also noted that the fact that the letter of intent was signed has no final meaning, and that the “Wisła” system issue is not yet resolved. Macierewicz pointed that the ongoing negotiation is often quite difficult. At the same time he emphasized the meaning of quick acquisition of the air defence system, considering the variable security context in the direct neighbourhood of Poland.

This is not a final decision, I would not like to create a feeling that everything is settled, that everything is closed. We have sent the LOR (...) we are involved in negotiation which frequently is not easy. (...) The fact that this is the last call, when we should do this, is obvious.

Antoni Macierewicz, Polish Minister of Defence

Polish Minister of Defence claimed that saving the Autosan plant would have relevant ramifications for the Polish defence capabilities. At the same time he stated that inclusion of the company in the Polish Armament Group is justifiable, from the social point of view.

Not only was the decision to save the Autosan (...) right in the social dimension, which is obvious, but it also had major consequences, positive for the Polish defence industry.

Antoni Macierewicz, Polish Minister of Defence

On the other hand, President of the Management Board of the PGZ company, Arkadiusz Siwko, stressed the importance of the fact that the Polish Ministry of Defence now decided to supervise the defence industry. This, enhanced the collaboration between the Army and the industry. As Siwko noted, the event of signing the letter is well embedded within the process of consolidating the Polish defence industry, with guidance being provided by the Polish Ministry of Defence.

At the beginning of his term, Minister Macierewicz (...) took over the supervision over the defence industry which, so far, has been scattered around in many places. This immediately created an effect of full collaboration between the defence industry and the Polish Army, which also immediately made it possible to create realistic consolidation of the defence industry. During the last year, numerous events confirmed the above, and today, we are witnessing and taking part in an event which is embedded within this defence industry consolidation process, supervised by the Polish Ministry of Defence.

As it was stated by Arkadiusz Siwko, President of the Board of the PGZ S.A. Company.

As Arkadiusz Siwko stressed, the document makes it possible to position the Autosan company in a role of a supplier of the Patriot system components, which would be then delivered to 13 countries, globally. The President of the PGZ company also noted the relevance of the actions undertaken by the MoD, within the context of supporting and reviving the economy, through activation of the defence industry. He stressed the significance of collaboration between Autosan and Raytheon.

The letter of intent has been signed by the following persons: Arkadiusz Siwko – President of the Board of the Polish Armament Group, Maciej Lew-Mirski – Member of the Board, John Baird – Raytheon IDS Vice-President, and Marek Opowicz – President of the Management Board of the Autosan sp. z o.o company.

The Polish party issued the Letter of Request, regarding the acquisition of eight Patriot batteries, along with the IBCS system, at the beginning of September. It was assumed that, starting from the third battery, new 360-degrees radar system is going to be delivered too. Meanwhile, the United States were asked to deliver more information pertaining to the MEADS system, also considered as an option in the Wisła programme.