Two Patriot air defence batteries in Poland already operational

The US troops have temporarily relocated two Patriot air defence batteries that had been stationed in Germany to Poland, stated Polish Deputy Minister of Defence Wojciech Skurkiewicz on Friday at Radio Plus, adding that the equipment is “ready to defend our country.”

On Wednesday, the US troops temporarily deployed two Patriot system batteries stationed in Germany to Poland, in order to “proactively counter any potential threats” to the territories of NATO members in connection with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The US European Command has stressed that they have been repositioned as a means to protect the US and NATO forces in the alliance’s territory and deter any threats, and as such “will in no way support any offensive operations.”

Military drones needed

Skurkiewicz said on Friday that in addition to air defence systems and anti-missile systems, another most urgent modernisation step is the purchase of armed drones. “The conflict in Ukraine has shed light on the fact – and let this be a lesson for the countries of NATO’s Eastern flank, Poland included – that certain areas require special investment,” commented Skurkiewicz, highlighting the need for the purchase of unmanned aircraft able to carry ordnance. He added that in 2021 Poland purchased the Bayraktar TB2 system manufactured by Turkey.

Polish Deputy Minister of Defence also talked about two Patriot air defence batteries purchased by Poland in 2018 as part of the first phase of the two-phase WISLA medium-range air defence programme that are to be delivered to Poland by the end of 2022, and confirmed that the second phase of the programme will follow.

Poland has decided to acquire the Patriot system, used by the US Army, in April 2015. The contract concerning the delivery of two Patriot anti-aircraft and anti-missile batteries (16 launchers) was signed in 2018. The value of phase one of the two-phase contract was USD 4.75 billion.