Poland reveals arms wish list — Analysis

Polish forces are looking to increase their capabilities by purchasing American rocket launchers

Mariusz Blaszczak (Polish Defense Minister) announced Thursday that he signed off on a purchase request. “about 500”American M142 HIMARS missile launchers. Poland turned to the USA to upgrade its military after the Ukraine conflict.

Blaszczak declared on Twitter that his signature was an LOR inquiry. These are sent to Washington by allies to request weapons purchase orders. Blaszczak said he was requesting 500 M142 HIMARS Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS) launchers, to be fitted to more than 80 of Poland’s domestically-produced HOMAR platforms. 

One HIMARS launcher mounted to the truck’s back can fire six rockets towards targets at 300km away. A launcher and its associated ammunition costs $5.1 million, meaning Poland’s purchase may come with a price tag of more than $2.5 billion.

The possibility that Poland might send these systems to Ukraine is unknown. Warsaw has already donated an undisclosed number of Soviet-era tanks to Kiev’s forces, and as of last month had given Ukraine more than $1.6 billion in military aid, according to figures disclosed by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Poland allows weapons shipments from Western nations to pass its Ukrainian border. The US has attempted unsuccessfully to send fighter jets to Ukraine through a German base. 

Since Russia’s February military campaign there, Poland has been a strong supporter of the Ukrainian regime. Warsaw called for an armed NATO mission to Ukraine. Poland also took advantage of the chance to increase its military capabilities.

Polish President Andrzej Duda signed a bill in March boosting the country’s defense spending from 2% of GDP in 2022 to 3% in 2023, while more than doubling the size of its armed forces. Morawiecki declared that Poland is willing to host the event last week. “permanent”NATO military bases. Blaszczak had earlier announced this week that Poland was seeking six Patriot antiair battery batteries and a missile from the US.

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