“We have it! On Wednesday, we will sign a contract with the United States government on the delivery of the HIMARS squadron for the Polish Army -- a weapon that will significantly increase the combat capabilities of the Polish Army. It will be 20 launchers with ammunition. This is modern equipment that guarantees effectiveness on the battlefield,” said Mariusz Błaszczak, the Minister of National Defense, during a visit to the 1st Warsaw Armored Brigade.
Chairman of the Council of Ministers Mateusz Morawiecki and the Minister of National Defense on February 10 during a visit to the 1st Warsaw Armored Brigade announced one of the largest modernization contracts for the Polish Army, which concerns the reinforcement of rocket artillery.
Minister Błaszczak said that the decision to purchase the HIMARS system is another important stage this year in the modernization of the Polish Army and increasing our defense potential. At the end of January, an agreement was signed on the purchase of Black Hawk helicopters for the needs of special forces.
“Today we provide details about the HIMARS battallion. The tender for the purchase of helicopters for the Navy is also on the right track. I would like to remind you that last year the Polish Army signed an agreement for the purchase of the Patriot system, as well as for mortars, Vis-100 guns and drones, which are products of the Polish arms industry,” said the head of the Defense Ministry.
“We want the Polish Army to be equipped with modern equipment and we also want the Polish Army to be larger. We want the Polish Army to be more strongly embedded in the structures of the North Atlantic Alliance, hence our talks with the allies, hence the presence of allied troops in Poland,” Minister Blaszczak said during the meeting in the 1st Armored Brigade.
The head of the Ministry of Defense observed that Poland is among the few NATO countries that spend 2% of their GDP on defense. “I would like to assure you that security is our priority, it is the priority of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki's government. I would like to assure you that it is not the last time this year we meet in such a group to present just such good news about the security of Poland and of Poles,” he said.
The contract’s value is $414 million net. The purchase is conducted through the Foreign Military Sales, i.e. by concluding an agreement between the governments of the Republic of Poland and the United States of America. The contract was implemented as part of the “Lobster” modernization project.
The contract covers the delivery of the first squadron, which will include 18 combat launchers and two M-142 HIMARS training launchers, along with the GMLRS and ATACMS missile ammunition and the LCRR training ammunition. Command vehicles, ammunition wagons and evacuation tractors will also be provided. The contract also includes logistic and technical training support.
The first squadron will be acquired in a configuration as close as possible to those in the US Army. Deliveries of system components will be implemented successively until 2023.
The LARAR multiple rocket launchers are used to carry out fire support tasks for a component of land forces by making deep fire strikes. The Himars system uses for this purpose precise target missile ammunition, guided by inertial and satellite navigation systems.
The Himars system will serve to target selected, highly profitable targets in a tactical and operational zone of operations, such as key objects of military importance, logistic and command elements, or elements of anti-aircraft sub-units and ground artillery. This will be another element in the modernization of the missile ad artillery component, after the introduction of Krab self-propelled guns and Rak self-propelled mortars. Missile systems using GMLRS and ATACMS ammunition are currently used by a number of NATO allied countries.
The choice of the Himars missile system is also consistent with the recommendations presented by the Consortium, whose leader was Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa SA as part of the previously completed proceedings, and was preceded by an analysis of the ability to meet the requirements of the Armed Forces of Poland and technological readiness of the Polish industry in the absorption of selected technologies.
It was also important to ensure interoperability and unification of weapons within the NATO member states, both in terms of the possibility of joint combat operations as well as possible sources of ammunition collection.