The UK and Poland has signed a new ambitious agreement on next-generation air defence systems.
A British arms manufacturer is set to produce missiles for Poland as part of a £4billion agreement.
Grant Shapps, the UK’s Defence Secretary, announced that the Common Anti-Air Modular Missiles – Extended Range (CAMM-ER) would strengthen Europe’s defence capabilities amid ongoing concerns related to the war in Ukraine.
He said: “This is another crucial step forward for our historic defence ties with Poland, supplying next-generation air defence capabilities to act as a clear deterrent to our adversaries.”
The missiles, which are designed in the UK and produced by MBDA, boast a range of 40 kilometres (25 miles) and have the capability to travel at supersonic speeds, making them effective against modern threats like stealth aircraft and cruise missiles.
The agreement with the Polish defence firm PGZ represents the largest commercial deal between the UK and Poland and builds upon a joint defence treaty between the two nations.
The deal will result in the delivery of over 1,000 CAMM-ER rockets and more than 100 iLaunchers, which will be integrated into Poland’s Narew ground-based air defence system.
Earlier this year, the UK also entered into a separate £1.9billion contract to manufacture missiles for 22 Polish air defence batteries. These deals are expected to support more than 500 jobs in the UK at MBDA’s production facilities, with the possibility of transferring manufacturing to Poland in the future.
MBDA, a joint venture between Airbus in France, BAE Systems in the UK, and Leonardo in Italy, views this agreement as a transformative development for Poland’s advanced weapons capabilities.
The CAMM surface-to-air missiles are already in use by the Royal Navy and the British Army. Poland is a crucial ally of the UK within Europe and NATO, with the UK deploying the Sky Sabre air defence system and Challenger 2 battle tanks to the country in the past year.
Poland has made substantial investments in its armed forces, particularly in the wake of Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine. In fact, the country allocated 3.9 per cent of its GDP for defence spending this year, nearly double NATO’s current spending target. This reflects the country’s commitment to enhancing its security and defence capabilities in an increasingly uncertain geopolitical landscape.