Agreements regarding procurement of the JASSM missiles and the NSM rocket system for the 2nd Coastal Missile Squadron will be signed in December next year, the Polish MoD Secretary of State, Czesław Mroczek, said during a Nov 4 conference updating the Armed Forces’ 2013-2022 modernisation program.
The price of the JASSM missile package, comprising the missiles and the related F-16 modernisation, will cost at most half as much as the 500 million US dollars indicated in the FMS notification, Mroczek said.
The meeting was also attended by the Chief of Polish Army’s General Staff, General Mieczysław Gocuł, the head of the Armament Inspectorate, Brig. General Sławomir Szczepaniak, the director of the Arms Policy Department, Brig. Gen. Włodzimierz Nowak, and the chief of the P8 Planning Board, Brig. Gen. Sławomir Pączek.
Deputy Minister Czesław Mroczek reported on this year’s equipment deliveries, including inter alia new Rosomak wheeled APCs, Leopard 2 tanks and new trucks. He also addressed the implementation of modernisation scheduled for 2014 – PLN 8 billion have been allocated to that purpose, and PLN 6.5 billion had been spent by the end of October.
MoD plans assume that negotiations regarding Konsberg NSM missiles will be completed in the coming months. The system will be supplied to the 2nd Coastal Missile Squadron. The JASSM missiles contract is to be signed in December, and the missiles will be used by F-16 fighters. Along with Homar land-based missiles and submarine-launched cruise missiles, these weapons will create Poland’s conventional deterrent.
When it comes to the controversial multi-purpose helicopter deal, the Deputy Minister of Defence clearly stated that neither the deadline nor the conditions will be changed. Offers will be accepted until 28th November and MoD hopes to receive three compliant bids to choose from, according to the requirements specified in the tender.
Among the programmes to be finalised in the near future, the officials listed:
- Procurement of the multi-purpose helicopters and realisation of the technical dialogue regarding the “Kruk” assault helicopter programme;
- Delivery of mini-UAVs called “Wizjer” and short range “Orlik” tactical UAVs;
- Acquisition of new type of submarines within the “Orka” programme, along with “Czapla” patrol minehunters and “Miecznik” coastal defence vessels;
- Procurement of Wisła medium range anti-aircraft missiles and technical dialogue regarding the “Narew” short range system.
Deputy Minister Mroczek said that when it comes to anti-aircraft systems, due to production capabilities, delivery of the planned quantity of the “Wisła” batteries may be difficult. It is one of the issues which is part of negotiation process.
Mroczek also denied that the Mistral deal that France concluded with Russia might have an impact on the chances of the French offers in the air-defence and multi-purpose helicopter competitions.
“Mistrals are an element of the NATO and EU stance related to the sanctions against Russia. This should not be treated as a problematic issue in our bilateral relationship with France. Poland of course is not in favor of selling Mistrals to the Russian due to the situation in our region of Europe. Nevertheless, Mistrals are not the key issue in Poland’s relationship with France,” Deputy Minister Czesław Mroczek said.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Four companies have so far expressed interest in the “Kruk” competition to supply 30 attack helicopters, Reuters reported Nov 4 from Warsaw. They are Airbus Helicopters (teamed with Heli Invest Services), Turkish Aerospace Industries, Bell Helicopter and Polish company BIT SA. As the list of potential bidders is still open, other bidders such as Boeing could still join the competition.)