Poland to buy Patriot Missiles

Poland to buy Patriot MissilesPoland to buy Patriot Missiles

Poland announced a deal on Tuesday to buy US Patriot surface-to-air missiles, amid rising tension with Russia. President Bronislaw Komorowski said Poland would start talks with the US to finalize the multibillion contract.

The missile deal - which could be worth about $7 billion - is the largest in Polish history. It is part of Poland’s plans to spend $35 billion to modernize its military over the next eight years. Poland also plans to buy helicopters, submarines and armored personnel carriers.

“For the armed forces’ technical modernization, and the Polish armed forces’ resilience, to be effective, the so-called anti-missile shield had to become the priority of priorities,” President said on Tuesday, BBC reported.

The Patriot is an advanced missile system intended to defend against aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles. The move follows reports that Russia has deployed missiles in its exclave of Kaliningrad, which borders Poland.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea last year has caused great concern among NATO states, notably in Eastern Europe. Also on Monday, France sent 15 Leclerc main battle tanks (MBT) to Poland. In service since 1992, the Leclerc’s aren’t exactly battle-hardened. Seeing minimal action in Kosovo and Lebanon, the tanks have never been used directly in a high-intensity conflict.