Raytheon Co to build Poland's Patriot system

Patriot missile system. Photo: Ismail Hakki Demir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Raytheon Co has been awarded a $1.5 billion modification to a contract for the sale of Patriot missile systems to Poland, the Pentagon said in a statement on Tuesday.

Purchase of Patriot missiles to guard NATO eastern flank reportedly agreed

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Raytheon Co confirmed the news on Thursday.

Poland signed the largest arms procurement deal in its history in March, agreeing with the United States to buy Raytheon Co’s Patriot missile defence system for USD 4.75 billion in a major step to modernise its forces against a bolder Russia.

NATO member Poland has accelerated efforts to overhaul its ageing weaponry following Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014. Two-thirds of Poland’s weaponry dates from the Cold War era when it was in the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact.

The deal is for the delivery in 2022 of two Patriot batteries manufactured by Raytheon, each with two fire units.

Warsaw is negotiating with Washington to buy more Patriots, a new 360-degree radar and a low-cost interceptor missile as part of a second phase of modernisation.

Air defences are particularly important for Poland and neighbouring Baltic states Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

NATO planners say Russia is using its Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad as well as Crimea to pursue the capability to block off NATO’s air access to the Baltic states, about a third of Poland and to the Black Sea.

Fourteen other countries, including six NATO members, have the Patriot missile.