“The new plan provides for modernization expenses tailored to the expectations of Polish Army soldiers. It is as much as 524 billion zlotys, or about 133 billion dollars for new armaments and equipment for those who guard our security. No government in the history of free Poland has been able to provide so much money for the modernization of the Armed Forces,” Mariusz Błaszczak, Poland’s minister of national defense, said in Wesoła.
On October 10, the head of the Ministry of National Defense approved one of the most important documents in the Polish Army – the Technical Modernization Plan for 2021-2035, including 2020.
As the minister pointed out, for the modernization process to be more efficient, effective and, above all, efficient, he decided to extend the planning period from 10 to 15 years.
“Arms contracts are complex and expensive orders that require hard work. Extending the planning period has opened the way to creating a legal basis for concluding long-term contracts,” said the minister.
In his speech, the head of the Ministry of National Defense pointed out that although soldiers of the Polish Army are well trained and have the necessary combat experience, without modern and proven equipment they will not be able to properly carry out their assigned missions.
“A lot has been done in the last four years regarding modernization. We bought, among others, the Patriot system, Himars launchers, helicopters from the plants in Mielec and Świdnik and a whole range of modern equipment from the Polish defense industry. It is a fact that the state of the Armed Forces, which we inherited from our predecessors, would surprise everyone. The level of delays, incompetence, helplessness and lack of interest for years of PO-PSL "prostitution" led to the fact that the complicated modernization process that we had to carry out was even more difficult. Despite this, we give advice,” said the minister.
Speaking about modernization programs, the minister pointed out that the key program, already implemented by the Polish Army and which is of fundamental importance for Poland's defense, is "Harpy". The program concerns the acquisition of 32 state-of-the-art F-35 aircraft. “We have already started the negotiation process with the US government after Congress agreed to the purchase. The finalization of this largest contract in Polish history is a matter of time,” he said.
The "Harpi Szpon" (Harpy’s Claws) program is a new program that complements the "Harpy" program and strengthens the impact of new fighters. “Poland will strive for participation in the "loyal wingman" program regarding the development and development of an unmanned aerial vehicle in stealth technology, i.e. that not detectable by radars. Such a drone will learn how to behave like an airplane pilot at the training stage, for joint performance of reconnaissance or combat tasks.
“Under the control of the pilot, the drone will be able to strike the well-protected objects of the enemy, for example in the depths of his deployment, without exposing the pilot to danger. The use of these systems, which are a combination of manned and unmanned aerial platforms, will also increase the possibility of destruction by carrying various types of guided missiles or bombs,” the head of the Ministry of Defense said.
The Plan for Technical Modernization also includes funds for the purchase of additional F-16 aircraft for the Polish military.
“The modern battlefield is based primarily on information. That is why we have prepared a program for the comprehensive development of capabilities for multi-level and integrated satellite and image recognition. As part of the new "Observer" program, the Armed Forces will acquire satellites, microsatellites, reconnaissance aircraft and a whole range of drones, the effects of which will be collected and analyzed in the imaging center and used by soldiers during operations,” the minister said.
As noted by the minister, the "Wisła" program will be further developed, i.e. a program for the provision of medium-range anti-aircraft and missile systems.
After "Wisła", the "Narew" program will be the element of the multilayered air defense system of the country.
The Technical Modernization Plan also provides for the purchase of helicopters. “After acquiring rotorcraft for Special Forces and the Navy, we will implement the "Raven" program. Thanks to it, we will obtain modern attack helicopters for the land forces. We will also continue the "Lobster" program regarding the purchase of rocket launchers capable of damaging targets distant up to 300 kilometers,” said Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.
The latest Technical Modernization Plan includes "Miecznik" and "Orka" programs, for which a bridging solution is planned, which will allow the acquisition of two submarines in the near future and ensure the continuity of training of submariners. The Polish Army will also acquire six light rocket ships in Polish shipyards as part of the "Murena" program.
Pursuant to the assumptions of the new Technical Modernization Plan, purchases of Krab guns, Rak self-propelled mortars and KTO Rosomak will continue.
“We will increase anti-tank capabilities by implementing the "Pustelnik" program, which provides for the purchase of modern, light anti-tank guided missile launchers,” the minister said.
“The era of post-Soviet and worn-out infantry vehicles BMP-1 is coming to an end. "Rosomak" (Badger) will lead to their replacement with a modern structure developed and produced in Poland. Recently, we had the opportunity to learn about the progress of work on Rosomak during the Kielce trade fair. In line with what I announced earlier, we will also acquire new generation tanks under the "Wolf" program,” the minister said.
The new plan includes the "Balsa" program, thanks to which the Polish Army will acquire further, modern engineering robots supporting the work of sappers. They will ensure the detection, removal and neutralization of munitions and remote explosive devices. The robots are entirely developed by Polish engineers and manufactured in our defense industry. The Daglezja program will also be implemented.
One of the programs targeted at the Polish defense industry is the "Ottokar Brzoza" program, which assumes obtaining several dozen pieces of tank destroyers for the anti-tank regiment.
“We also remember about innovative technologies. As part of the "Pea" program, we will buy air tanks with sub-munitions that automatically respond to detected objects. It's a weapon that allows you to fight large groups of the enemy, such as mechanized and armored units, as well as planes and helicopters on landing pads. The "Gladius" program, in turn, assumes the acquisition of unmanned search and attack systems, the so-called "loitering ammunition," said the head of the Ministry of National Defense.
The Polish Army will continue to develop the cyber.mil program, under which a package of national tools and software will be created that will use the latest Polish cryptographic technologies and allow for effective defense of Polish cyberspace.
Summing up the Technical Modernization Plan, Minister Mariusz Błaszczak emphasized that each of the types of armed forces will receive new equipment that will significantly improve efficiency.