Poland to acquire Patriot defense system
Agreement will create new defense industry jobs in U.S., Poland
The sign of a good deal is when both sides benefit. That fits a new agreement for Poland to purchase the combat-proven Patriot™ integrated air and missile defense system.
On March 28, the Polish government signed an agreement with the U.S. government to buy the Patriot system, which is made by U.S.-based Raytheon. The letter of offer and acceptance, or LOA, will lead to new defense industry jobs in both nations, as well as strengthening NATO and Europe’s defense against airborne threats.
“Poland joins the now-15-nation-strong group of countries which trust Patriot to defend their citizens, military and sovereignty,” said Wes Kremer, president of Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems business. “Poland’s procurement of Patriot strengthens trans-Atlantic partnership and security, and creates jobs in the US and Poland.”
Signing the LOA paves the way for Poland’s Patriot force to rapidly reach "initial operational capability," a common term in government and military circles that means the first stage of being usefully deployable and maintainable. The signing also sets the stage for the U.S. government to begin contract negotiations with Raytheon and its industry partners.
A true win-win
“This is an exciting time for Polish industry and the beginning of a new era. Shortly after the signing of the LOA, Raytheon will begin to place contracts in Poland which will create new, high tech jobs,” said Pete Bata, Raytheon vice president of Polish Air and Missile Defense. “At the same time, Poland is also investing in the Patriot partnership and creating new jobs in the U.S. that wouldn’t have existed otherwise.”
Poland recently increased the percentage of its global domestic product that's dedicated to national defense. To facilitate self-sufficiency in defense acquisitions, Polish law also requires that a portion of the contract’s value remain in-country. This setup, known as an offset, presents a growth opportunity for both Raytheon and the up-and- coming Polish defense industry.
Under the agreement, Raytheon will transfer Patriot technology as permitted by U.S. law. Then it will work with Polish defense companies as they learn to build key parts of one of the world’s most sophisticated defensive systems.
Meanwhile, the contract funds the creation of new American jobs to increase production of major Patriot system components.
Performing the contract in this manner will create more challenges than a traditional agreement, Bata said, but it will pay dividends.
“In the U.S., we will utilize Poland’s investment to further enhance the system and maintain Patriot as the world’s most advanced integrated air and missile defense capability,” Bata said. “It’s a win-win on both sides, with us helping their industry get stood up and then the Polish funding the creation of new U.S. industry jobs and increasing the capabilities of the system itself.”
This LOA is for Phase I of “WISLA,” Poland’s two-phase, medium-range, integrated air and missile defense procurement. Poland has stated it intends to acquire additional Patriot fire units, gallium nitride-based, 360-degree Active Electronically Scanning Array Radars, and SkyCeptor™, a low-cost interceptor missile, under Phase II.
“Over the past few years, Raytheon has developed a strong partnership with PGZ, Poland’s state-owned leader in the defense industry, and together we are going to establish the Polish defense industry as a force in the global market,” said Bata.
Poland joins the U.S. and 14 allied nations in Europe, the Pacific Rim and Middle East in a unique international collaboration. Nations that own Patriot share their experiences and continually work together to improve the system. Adding Poland to this group further strengthens Patriot’s future.
Poland isn’t the only country to recently seek acquisition of Patriot. In November 2017, Romania signed an LOA for Patriot, and Sweden submitted a formal letter of request for the weapon.