Poland to Receive $12B Arms Package From US

(RightWing.org) – Poland has remained a steadfast NATO ally, providing the most immediate assistance to Ukraine in its battle against invading Russian forces. In recent months, the country has reinforced its own border defenses as Kremlin forces gathered in neighboring Belarus.

On Monday, August 21, The State Department preliminarily approved Poland’s purchase of a $12 billion arms package from US manufacturers Boeing and Lockheed Martin as a possible Foreign Military Sale. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the potential sale the same afternoon.

Poland’s Current Shopping List

Poland’s high-tech arms shopping list includes:

  • 96 AH-64E Apache helicopters
  • Various engines, radar systems, radar control units, radio transmitters and receivers
  • 1844 Hellfire missiles
  • 96 Hellfire Captive Air Training Missiles
  • 460 Joint Air-to-Ground Missiles
  • 508 Stinger 92K Block I Missiles
  • 7,650 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems

The total also includes machine guns, rockets, rocket launchers, missile launchers, ammunition, unmanned aerial surveillance vehicles (drones), generators, helmets, safety equipment, survival equipment, simulators, personnel training, technical training, and technical and logistical support services.

While Congress could vote to block the sale, experts agree a rejection of the deal remains unlikely. According to the DSCA, Poland’s purchase of the package would “support [US] foreign policy goals and national security objectives,” improve NATO security, “improve [its] capability to meet current and future threats,” and provide “a credible force […] capable of deterring adversaries and participating in NATO operations.”

Poland’s Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak wrote on social media on August 21 that the US Military had agreed to loan his nation eight Apache helicopters and provide training to Polish pilots and technicians. However, he announced that his troops wouldn’t likely complete their training this year.

In December 2022, Poland inked a $3.75 billion deal to purchase 116 M1A1 Abrams battle tanks along with other vehicles, weapons, and hundreds of thousands of rounds of specialized ammunition, according to a DSCA statement.

Poland Enhances Border Defense in Wake of Wagner Group Build-up

Poland has acted as a first line of defense and humanitarian support for Ukraine, incurring Russian President Vladimir Putin’s wrath. Meanwhile, Putin’s ally, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, stands accused of pursuing “hybrid warfare” tactics to destabilize his neighbor and the European Union by organizing and launching thousands of African and Middle Eastern migrants into the nation after flying them to Minsk. Poland is already hosting more than 1.2 million Ukrainian refugees. President Andrzej Duda responded by erecting a $400,000 fenced barrier, reducing the influx of migrants from Belarus.

Yet, the NATO ally faced another challenge. After Yevgeny Prigozhin staged a June 23 march on the Kremlin to protest military leadership, Lukashenko offered a compromise to Putin and Prigozhin: he would give the Wagner Group leader and any men who wanted to follow him safe quarter in his country in return for Prigozhin calling off his revolt. The agreement resulted in a growing number of Russian mercenaries near the Polish-Belarusian border.

On August 10, Błaszczak announced he was deploying 10,000 soldiers to the Belarusian border as a precaution. The announcement came five days before Polish parliamentary elections, and some pundits opined that the ruling conservative party, Law and Justice, wanted to demonstrate its concern for national security.

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