WASHINGTON --- Poland has been pushing toward a purchase of a medium-range air-and-missile defense system for many years, settling on an unprecedented configuration of the Patriot system, but was surprised by the high price tag presented when the U.S. State Department cleared the sale of half of the Patriots Poland plans to buy.
According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, when it notified Congress last month of the potential sale, the deal could cost the country $10.5 billion for four systems — that is roughly 37 billion zloties — which already exceeds by 7 billion zloties what Poland has said it would spend on the entire program.
The DSCA announcement only marks the progress in the first phase of the acquisition. Poland would like to see a second round of Patriot systems with a 360-degree detection capability and the first four retrofitted with the new radar in a subsequent deal.
“The high cost came as a surprise for us,” Bartosz Kownacki, secretary of state in Poland’s Ministry of National Defense, told Defense News in a Dec. 5 interview in Washington.
“The price is indeed unacceptable for us, even in the view of the significant financial assets that we allocated for the technical modernization of the Polish Armed Forces,” he said through a translator. “We cannot simply afford to spend that much money on the procurement of two batteries and [Patriot Advanced Capability]-3 missiles for such an amount of money.” (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the Defense News website.