“The technical modernization of the Polish Army is one of the most important tasks that I have set for myself when I took over the office of the Minister of National Defence. In many areas, our armed forces used outdated equipment that still remembered the times of the Warsaw Pact, and was otherwise not adapted to the security challenges faced today.
“Currently, after six years of the rule of Law and Justice party, we can say that the Polish Army is better equipped and meets the requirements of the modern battlefield. This is the result of our hard work, commitment of many people and consistency in action," said Mariusz Błaszczak, the Minister of National Defence, during the DefenceDay24 defence industry conference.
On Wednesday, September the 29, at the EXPO XXI Centre in Warsaw, the head of the Ministry of National Defence participated in the opening of the defence industry conference Defence24 Day, during which he summarized the current investments in Poland's security related to the modernization of the Polish Army.
“The purchases we make for the Polish Army are coordinated, planned and cover the entire spectrum of operation of the Polish Armed Forces. Between the fairy tales, we can put stories popular in some environments about the fact that we do not need more soldiers and heavy equipment. The Polish Army must be saturated with modern weapons with high offensive and defensive values, with a large number of well-trained soldiers and must have a strong position in the North Atlantic Alliance - emphasized the minister during the speech inaugurating the conference.”
The industry conference "Defence24Day" is devoted to key issues in the field of state defence in the national and international dimension. The conference is a platform for debate and exchange of experiences of representatives of the government and public administration, commanders of the Polish Army, experts and the defence industry community.
NAREW - a complex modernization program in the history of the Polish Armed Forces
“One of the areas that required the most changes was anti-aircraft and anti-missile defence. In the modern battlefield, ensuring the security of units against air attack is of fundamental importance. In order to develop the capabilities of the Polish Army in this area, during the last IDIE (International Defence Industry Exhibition), I signed one of the most important contracts this year with the PGZ-NAREW Consortium for the purchase of 23 sets of the NAREW short-range air defence system. The NAREW program is the largest and most complex modernization program in the history of the Polish Armed Forces,” emphasized the head of the Ministry of National Defence.
Frigates for the Navy and allied technologies – Bayraktar
“The Navy also requires a modernization effort, which is why in July 2021 an agreement was signed between the Armament Inspectorate and the PGZ-Miecznik Consortium for the supply of three frigates for the Polish Navy under the "Miecznik" program. The new frigates will conduct a wide spectrum of tasks in Polish sea areas and in cooperation with the Allies as part of joint missions, operations and exercises,” said the minister.
Mariusz Błaszczak emphasized that the Polish Army also uses allied experience in the production and use of modern technologies. “Therefore, in May 2021, an agreement was signed to purchase four sets of Bayraktar TB2 unmanned air systems produced in Turkey for the Polish Armed Forces.” The minister emphasized that the introduction of this type of weapon - unmanned systems - air, land and sea - requires coordinated actions.
“That is why I have decided to appoint a representative whose task will be the acquisition, execution and implementation of unmanned air vehicles into the Polish Armed Forces. In implementing this program, we will use the potential of the Polish defence industry,” he added.
Strengthening the armored forces
The minister also recalled the decision announced a few weeks ago, together with Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński, to purchase 250 Abrams tanks for the land forces.
“Tanks will go to the 18th Mechanized Division, to the Iron Division and will defend the eastern flank of the North Atlantic Alliance, they will defend eastern Poland. It is a real revolution not only for the armoured forces, but also for the entire Polish Armed Forces. The Polish Army has never before had such an effective and modern weapon at its disposal,” emphasized the head of the Ministry of National Defence.
During the Defence24 Day conference, which is a place of debate and exchange of experiences, Minister Mariusz Błaszczak also mentioned the reform of the process of acquiring new equipment and weapons for the Polish Army.
Reform of the modernization purchase system and helicopters for special forces
“The new system will be based on two key entities - the Technical Modernization Council, whose first meeting took place yesterday, and the Armaments Agency, which will start operating on January the 1st, 2022. The Technical Modernization Council will ensure that decisions regarding the purchase of equipment will be made quickly and without unnecessary prolongation of formalities. In this way, we break the deadlock that has often arisen during the implementation of purchasing procedures.
“At yesterday's meeting, the Council decided to purchase four more Black Hawk S-70i helicopters for the Polish Special Forces. The Armaments Agency will, in turn, function as a budgetary unit, without a management board and a supervisory board. In addition to the tasks of the current Armament Inspectorate, it will take over the competences of several other units of the Ministry of National Defence, but will not exercise ownership supervision over the PGZ. Currently, new solutions are being implemented,” emphasized the head of the Ministry of Defence.
Finishing his speech, Minister Mariusz Błaszczak emphasized that the Polish Army must be more numerous and equipped with modern and heavy equipment. He emphasized that only in this way we are able to deter a potential enemy and ensure the safety of Poles.
“All my actions and the activities of the Ministry of National Defence are aimed at making Poland stronger and safer. And I want to emphatically emphasize that we will not change the course we have chosen, and that the Polish Army will develop with the same determination as before.”