Landmark agreements strengthen UK-Poland defence relations
As announced by its government on October 4, the United Kingdom will enhance Poland’s military capability and strengthen the defence relationship between the two countries, following the signing of two major defence equipment agreements.
At the Zamość Military Base in Poland today, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence Mariusz Błaszczak signed an Air Defence Complex Weapons Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This enables the UK and Poland to cooperate in the development and manufacture of current and future complex weapons, further strengthening the relationship built through the Defence and Security Cooperation Treaty (2017) and deepening the interoperability of our Armed Forces.
The Ministers also signed the Arrowhead-140 Statement of Intent which provides a framework for the UK Government and the Government of Poland to collaborate on the procurement and operation of three Arrowhead-140 frigates. The Polish Frigates will be a variant of the Arrowhead-140.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: ‘’I’m delighted to be in Zamosc today with my friend and close defence partner Mariusz Błaszczak. We have had a close defence alliance with Poland for over 150 years and as we face the threat from Russia, we need the equipment and the capabilities to safeguard our people and preserve European stability. Our new agreements demonstrate that commitment and the UK’s support for Poland’s defence modernisation plans’’.
Today’s signing took place alongside a ceremony marking the first delivery of air defence equipment, Narew, to Poland produced in partnership with MBDA UK and the Polish industry. The complex weapons MOU provides UK support for Poland’s Short-Range Air Defence programme Narew, a key component of Poland’s rapid air defence modernisation programme, enabling further co-operation agreements in the future.
Through the MOU, the two nations will strengthen industry and government links, and support Poland in establishing sovereign capabilities for missile manufacture, providing a framework for industrial cooperation and co-development.
Managing Director of MBDA UK Chris Allam said: ‘’To deliver Small Narew to Poland in such an extremely short timeframe is a remarkable achievement, and we’re proud that this has been accomplished through our very close partnership with Polish Grupa Zbrojeniowa and thanks to strong support from the UK government. Today’s agreements launch the next step in Polish-UK missile co-operation and underpins the PGZ-MBDA technology transfer proposal on Narew, while also supporting Pilica+, Miecznik, Tank Destroyer, and other vital projects’’.
The two ministers also agreed a new working group, which will explore the potential for the UK and Polish Armed Forces to cooperate on the development of a Future Common Missile. Though requirements for the missile are still in development, it is envisioned to be a medium-to-long range, surface launched missile that can be used in both Land and Maritime environments and will be a development of the CAMM family of missiles.
Following the signing, the Defence Secretary met UK personnel deployed in Southern Poland operating Sky Sabre Air Defence systems and Challenger 2 Tanks. During his trip to Poland, the Defence Secretary also attended the Warsaw Security Forum where he took part in the future of the Transatlantic Alliance panel discussion.
Last April 26, Army Recognition already reported the PGZ-Narew consortium had concluded an agreement with MBDA regarding the schedule and terms of delivery of the Narew system components from the British partner. The contract would allow for the integration of the MBDA launcher and missiles with the radar station and the C2 communication and command system produced by the Polish defence industry.
The agreement between the PGZ-Narew Consortium and MBDA UK is a confirmation of the British partner’s readiness for quick and efficient deliveries of the effector team – the CAMM (Common Anti-air Modular Missile) missiles and launchers – which will be integrated by the members of the Consortium as part of the contract concluded April 14 this year, for the delivery of two short-range air defence fire units for the Polish Armed Forces in the accelerated formula.
The Narew program provides for the development and delivery of components and subsystems for 23 short-range anti-aircraft missile systems. The program covers the supply of modern military equipment for the Polish Armed Forces, but also the acquisition of technology and knowledge, building industrial potential, project management and system integration by the Polish defence industry.
The PGZ-Narew Consortium consists of: Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa S.A. (leader), Huta Stalowa Wola S.A., Jelcz sp.z o.o., Mesko S.A., Ośrodek Badawczo Rozwojowy Centrum Techniki Morskiej S.A., PCO S.A., PIT-Radwar S.A., Wojskowe Zakłady Łączności No. 1 S.A., Wojskowe Zakłady Uzboszenia S.A., Military Electronic Works ARE. and Zakłady Mechaniczne Tarnów S.A. Other companies from the Polish Armaments Group and a number of private companies, research and development institutions and academic centres will also be able to participate in the project.