UK, Poland Sign $5 Billion Air-Defense Deal to Deter Russia

(Bloomberg) -- The UK and Poland signed a £4 billion ($4.9 billion) deal to deliver a next-generation air-defense system to Warsaw as Europe steps up military efforts on NATO’s eastern flank to fend off Russian aggression.

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British firm MBDA inked a sub-contract with Polish defense company PGZ to provide a ground-based air-defense system capable of countering cruise missiles and fighter jets at ranges of more than 40 kilometers, the UK’s Ministry of Defence said in a statement Tuesday.

The agreement will export more than 1,000 CAMM-ER missiles — Common Anti-Air Modular Missiles that can destroy modern air threats such as stealth aircraft and high-speed missiles — as well as 100 iLaunchers. The missiles will be developed in cooperation between the UK and Italy.

Poland’s outgoing nationalist government has been ramping up military purchases from countries including the US and South Korea in response to Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine. Next year’s budget foresees defense spending at 4% of economic output.

The Polish government had asked the UK for new air-defense support and technology to help it repel Russian missiles, drones and spy balloons, Bloomberg reported in June.

The request came after a series of suspected incursions into Polish air space over the past year amid heightened concern in Warsaw about spillover from Russia’s invasion.

The air-defense system, known as NAREW, will also use the US Integrated Battle Command System and Polish radars.

“This is another crucial step forward for our historic defence ties with Poland, supplying next generation air-defence capabilities to act as a clear deterrent to our adversaries,” UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said in remarks sent by his office.

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