Amidst concerns over a possible Russian insurgency following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, Poland is seeking ties with the U.S. to significantly increase the Polish army’s defense capabilities. In a soon-to-be signed deal, Poland will buy mobile rocket launchers worth $414 million from the U.S. weapon giant Lockheed Martin.
According to the terms of the contract, it includes M-142 HIMARS system capable of launching six guided rockets with a range of 70 km (37 miles), or a single missile with up to 300 km range along with 18 combat launchers, two training launchers, shorter-range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) missiles and longer-range Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) tactical missiles. LMT will also provide command and other vehicles, logistics, training and technical support.
HIMARS have been previously deployed by the U.S troops in conflict zones in the Middle East. They are known for enabling precision attacks even in poor weather when air attack can be compromised.
The deal will certainly modernize the Polish armed forces and strengthen its capacity to confront regional threats as well as enhance its ties with U.S. and other allies.
In fact, seeking U.S military ties has long been on the Polish right wing government’s agenda that even wants to have a permanent U.S military base in the country replacing the already stationed rotational American troops as part of NATO operations. The Polish government apparently has offered up to $2 billion to the U.S government for this capability.
This is the second major deal by the Polish government with an U.S. company in recent times, after Poland had signed a $4.75 billion deal to purchase the U.S.-made Patriot air defense missile system in March 2018.