It is reported today that the government of Poland signed an agreement, i.e. a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LoA), to purchase Raytheon's PATRIOT Integrated Air and Missile Defence system from the US Army. This LoA paves the way for Poland's PATRIOT force to rapidly reach Initial Operational Capability (IOC), and sets the stage for the US government to begin contract negotiations with Raytheon and its industry partners.
Earlier this year, Poland‘s new defence minister took to Twitter to announce the government was able to negotiate a reduced price to procure PATRIOT air-and-missile defence systems under what it calls the WISLA programme. According to news reports the deal is worth U$4.75 billion with first delivery including 16 launchers, four radar stations and 208 missiles. In their earlier statements, Polish leadership revealed that new air defence systems would be deployed near the border with Russia.
"Poland joins the now 15 nation strong group of countries which trust PATRIOT to defend their citizens, military and sovereignty," Wes Kremer, President of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, said. "Poland's procurement of PATRIOT strengthens Trans-Atlantic partnership and security by enabling a common approach to Integrated Air and Missile Defence, and creating jobs in the US and Poland."
NATO nations Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain and the US (alongside non-NATO members Israel, Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates ) currently have Patriot in their inventory, with some of these currently thinking of either upgrading or buying other systems (e.g. Germany, who is still in the descision phase and Turkey having opted for a ccop with Eurosam [story & more] and the Russian S-400 missile defence system).
On 29 November 2017, Romania signed an LoA for PATRIOT, making it the 6th NATO member state to procure PATRIOT. Additionally, a Congressional notification regarding a potential PATRIOT sale to Sweden has been completed (story here).
Prior to signing the LoA, Poland agreed to an industrial-participation proposal offered by Raytheon and its industry partners. To facilitate Poland's self-sufficiency, which is required by Polish law, Raytheon will transfer technology to the extent permitted by US law and regulations.
This LoA is for Phase I of WISLA, Poland's two-phase medium-range Integrated Air and Missile Defence procurement. Under Phase II, Poland has stated it intends to acquire additional PATRIOT fire units, Gallium-Nitride (GaN)-based 360-degree Active Electronically Scanning Array Radar (AESA), and SkyCeptor, a low-cost interceptor missile.
The SkyCeptor interceptor is based on Rafael's STUNNER hit-to-kill missile, currently in full-rate production for Israel'S DAVID's SLING missile defence system. SkyCeptor is the newest hit-to-kill weapon in the PATRIOT family, which includes the PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE missiles. Also in the family is the GEM-T interceptor, which uses a blast fragmentation warhead to obliterate tactical and ballistic missiles or manned and unmanned aircraft. All four missiles can be fired from the same launcher.
An agreement on the delivery of PATRIOT missile defense systems to Warsaw was signed between the Polish Ministry of National Defence (MoND) and the US Department of Defense (DoD) in July 2017 during US President Donald Trump's visit to Poland. According to the initial deal, PATRIOT systems should be handed over to Poland by 2022.