Poland is expected to sign a huge arms deal with the United States that is worth up to $7.6 billion. The deal with Raytheon will mean that Poland will purchase eight Patriot missile defense systems by the end of 2017. Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz of Poland said on Thursday during President Donald Trump’s visit to Warsaw, “A memorandum was signed tonight that the US government has agreed to sell Poland Patriot missiles in the most modern configuration.” The deal is expected to be finalized in November.
The missiles will be Made in Israel, however. Israel’s SkyCeptor missiles cost $450,000 rather than the $4.5 million each Patriot interceptor costs. Poland reportedly insisted on the Israeli make. The Israeli-made missiles are also known as “David’s Sling.” Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems is expected to earn about $1 billion from the deal.
However, Poland is expected to buy a small number of interceptor missiles Made in America, thus allowing for earlier deployment of the missile systems. Work is being done to integrate the American and Israeli components. Poland will thus become the first export client of the David Sling's interceptor missile.
The European Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) by American Lockheed Martin, lost their bid.
Israel’s David Sling missile systems, however, were barred by Washington from bidding on the deal even though David’s Sling missiles themselves will be used. Israel Aerospace Industries' (IAI) Arrow system was also barred from bidding in the Polish tender. Because the US funded the development of both Israel systems, the Trump administration did not approve their export to Warsaw.
NATO-member Poland has sought to upgrade and modernize its armed forces in response to the annexation of Crimea by its traditional enemy, Russia. The Patriot system, with the SkyCeptor missile, will be able to intercept aircraft, heavy rockets, and ballistic missiles at a range of up to 300 kilometers (186 miles).