Poland could break off US talks on anti-missile shield: report
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland could break off negotiations with the US to purchase a Patriot anti-missile shield over a disagreement about the deal, the Dziennik Gazeta Prawna daily has said.
The reason for the disagreement “is the lack of consent” of the US administration on the transfer of technology, which is “crucial” for Poland, the daily said in its issue on Monday.
An Integrated Air and Missile Battle Command System (IBCS), which the Polish Defence Ministry is demanding, is not even owned by the US Army, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna said.
The IBCS is an integral part of the Patriot missile system, and if negations about it fall through, the whole deal could be scrapped.
“During last week's visit by Deputy [Defence] Minister Bartosz Kownacki to the United States, representatives of the US Department of Defense maintained their position … not to consent to the transfer of technology which Poland so strongly insists on,” the paper added.
The Patriot missile system produced by US manufacturer Raytheon was chosen as Poland’s future anti-ballistic missile system by the Civic-Platform led government in April 2015, seeing off competition from an MBDA and Thales consortium offering Aster 30 missiles.
Following the victory of the Law and Justice party in elections in 2015, the government re-examined defence tenders, including both the Patriot system and a purchase of French Caracal helicopters. The latter has since been cancelled.
Late last year, Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz confirmed plans to purchase the American Patriot missile defence system, ending months of speculation.
It has previously been reported that the Patriot contract might be worth PLN 10-12 billion (EUR 2.3-2.8 billion). Poland expected to receive a favourable offset deal, with the transfer of 69 technologies and significant investment in the Polish defence industry.