Poland to purchase Israeli missiles in new US defense deal

 

(JNS.org) A deal for Poland to purchase eight U.S. Patriot missile batteries is slated to include interceptor missiles from Israel’s David’s Sling missile defense system. 

A David's Sling system test in December 2015. Credit: United States Missile Defense Agency

The deal—worth upwards of $7.6 billion—will be finalized in November, and was announced last Thursday by Poland’s Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz during President Donald Trump’s visit to Warsaw.

“A memorandum was signed tonight that the U.S. government has agreed to sell Poland Patriot missiles in the most modern configuration,” Macierewicz said.

The agreement will see Poland acquire the Patriot missile batteries from the American weapons contractor Raytheon. At Poland’s request, Israel’s David’s Sling missiles, developed and manufactured by the Israeli defense contractor Rafael, will replace the U.S. Patriot missiles due to the Israeli missiles’ superior performance and substantially lower cost. While a Patriot missile costs $4.5 million, a David’s Sling missile costs $450,000. Rafael is expected to make around $1 billion from the deal.

Further, at Poland’s request, Raytheon agreed to manufacture the missiles in Poland with the approval of Israel’s Defense Ministry and the U.S. Defense Department. Poland will also purchase some American interceptor missiles to speed up the defense system’s deployment while the Israeli missiles are integrated into the Patriot system.

The David’s Sling system is jointly developed and funded by the U.S. and Israel, and is designed to intercept mid-to-long-range ballistic missiles with ranges from 25-190 miles.

Posted on July 9, 2017 .