France Offers Poland Subs, Cruise Missiles

France is offering naval cruise missiles to Poland should it opt to buy DCNS-built Scorpene submarines, similar to this Malaysian one.

France has offered to supply Poland with submarines and missiles that were requested by the country’s Defense Ministry.

In March, Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak announced that the government was aiming to acquire cruise missiles for three new submarines it plans to purchase by 2023.


France has stepped up to offer its Missile de Croisiere Naval, should Warsaw opt for French-designed Scorpene subs, Defense News reported. Paris has authorized the procurement of the DCNS-built submarines and long-range MBDA missiles by Poland, newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reported.

Under the plan, Poland could acquire 24 missiles for the three submarines.

According to the Polish Defense Ministry’s Military Modernization Plan for the years 2013-2022, two submarines are to be delivered to the Polish Navy by 2022 and a third by 2023.

Siemoniak announced in March that Warsaw was in talks with the United States and France over the potential cruise missile deal that would be carried out as part of the Defense Ministry’s Polish Claws program, designed to improve Poland’s deterrence capacity.


At the time, Russian officials and representatives of the country’s military circles perceived the planned missile acquisition as being directed against Moscow.

Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, the former head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Department of International Cooperation, told local news agency Interfax that the move by Poland “is clearly an anti-Russian gesture” that shows “Warsaw’s complete dependency on Washington.”

It remains unknown whether Moscow plans to respond, but Ivashov said in March that, should the missiles be supplied to the Polish military, Russia would have to take “countermeasures.”

Just last week, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski approved a resolution to form a joint Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian military unit that would participate in NATO, the United Nations and European Union.

Poland chooses US Patriot air defense systems for its missile defense — Defense Ministry

April 21, 
One of the important criteria in the selection of the air defense systems was their capability to resist Russian Iskander missile systems
Patriot air defense system (archive)

WARSAW, April 21. /TASS/. Poland has chosen the supplier for its national missile defense system. According to the country’s Defense Ministry, it is the US company Raytheon, the manufacturer of Patriot air defense missile systems.

“The US proposal has been found to be more profitable from the viewpoint of Poland’s security and implementation of commitments within NATO framework. Patriot systems are used in several countries,” the ministry said.

Taking part in the tender was the Italian-French Eurosam corporation that manufactures the SANP/T systems. The Defense Ministry said one of important criteria in the selection of the air defense systems was their capability to resist Russian Iskander missile systems.

The project to form a national missile defense system in Poland is called Wisla. It envisions acquisition of eight medium-range air defense system batteries. Each of them will be equipped with GEM-T and PAC-3 MSE missiles. The Defense Ministry did not mention their quantity.

The signing of the contract is scheduled for 2016. Within three years after signing, the supplier should provide two batteries of one of available versions to Poland. The target configuration with a radar should appear in the republic in 2022-2025.

According to experts, the Wisla project will cost Warsaw 10-12 billion zlotys ($2.8-3.4 billion).

France Sends Battle Tanks to Poland

Leclerc tanks drive down the Bastille Day parade on the Champs-Elysees.

As NATO continues to beef up its presence in Eastern Europe, France has deployed a squad of Leclerc battle tanks into Poland for training exercises. It’s the latest example of the West accusing Russia of military aggression while it, in fact, takes steps toward establishing a stronger NATO.

On Monday, 15 Leclerc main battle tanks (MBTs) left France en route for Poland. Part of the 12ème Régiment de Cuirassiers, France has also deployed a platoon from the 16ème Bataillon de Chasseurs which includes four infantry fighting vehicles, and a platoon from the 13ème Régiment du Génie.

Only in service since 1992, the Leclerc’s aren’t exactly battle-hardened. Seeing minimal action in Kosovo and Lebanon, the tanks have never been used directly in a high-intensity conflict.

Earlier on Tuesday, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski also indicated that he would negotiate with the United States to purchase medium-range Patriot defense missiles. This decision was in response to a vague, unspecified “threat from the east,” mentioned by President Komorowski last year.

Some experts have suggested that the missile purchase could be a political move for the upcoming Polish elections in May.

“At a time of an armed conflict in Ukraine Bronislaw Komorowski wants to present himself as a strong commander-in-chief,” political marketing specialist Wieslaw Galazka told Wirtualna Polska news.

The Western military alliance has also been increasing its presence in Baltic nations. Latvia has expressed its desire to host a permanent battalion of NATO troops.

“At the present moment, we are looking for an air defense system,” Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Vejonis told Sputnik on Tuesday. “Of course, we will discuss possible permanent NATO presence in the region – it is a key question for us.”

The Latvian government has expressed concerns about a perceived Russian threat since last year.


NATO is also launching a series of cyber war exercises in Estonia. Though these are not officially in response to a perceived Russian threat, Rob Pritchard, a cybersecurity expert at the Royal United Services Institute in London, indicated a likely connection.

“Russia is currently looming large on the NATO radar, and the exercise is likely to simulate attacks similar to those used by the Russian state, and state-backed actors,” Pritchard was quoted by the Associated Press.


What’s the Catch? Poland Gets ‘Free’ US Armored Military Vehicles

The Polish Army has received 45 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, all donated by the US government.

As the United States scales down its operations in Afghanistan, it’s looking for creative ways to get rid of its surplus military equipment. One solution: give it Poland, free of charge. But the fact that the European nation is engaged in zero combat missions raises concerns about who will actually benefit from such a gift.

The Polish Army has received 45 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, all donated by the US government. The vehicles are barely used. Each has driven less than 3,000 kilometers, and in total, the MRAP’s are estimated to be worth over $7.5 million.

“In the short term, the equipment will be used in exercises, military training, and when necessary, in combat,” General Lech Majewski, General Commander of the Armed Forces and Types of Special Forces, said at a press conference on Wednesday.


US Ambassador Stephen Mull said that the offering is just one of several benefits of partnering with the US.

“This is an example of a strong tradition of Polish-American partnership, and the example of a sustained commitment by the US to protect Poland,” Mull said, according to Polskie Radio.

But Poland is not currently defending itself, and is engaged in no military conflicts. Given that Poland is one of the only nations which has expressed willingness to provide arms to the Ukrainian military, many wonder if this equipment might find its way onto the battlefield.

Last week, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a law which established a joint military brigade between Ukraine, Lithuania, and Poland. On Tuesday, Ryszard Czarnecki, of the Polish Law and Justice Party, called on both Poland and the larger European Union to pursue measures to “push Russia away from our borders.”


If Poland follows through with these plans, this raises the possibility that the US may be indirectly arming the Ukrainian military.

In addition, the vehicles can hardly be considered “free,” since such complex machines require millions of dollars in maintenance. A single, supposedly free military helicopter given to the Newark police ended up costing the department $2 million in upkeep and refurbishment, according to NJ Advance Media. A fleet of 45 would cost considerably more.

If the Polish military wants to utilize the gift in a real way, it will cost them plenty. This fact could encourage the Polish to sell.

“We Americans are proud of our partnership with Poland,” Ambassador Mull said as the vehicles were handed over. “[We’re] determined to deliver on our commitment to provide Poland with lasting security and prosperity.”

Read more:

Poland Open to Arms Sales to Ukraine

Poland's Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna

Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna stated that Poland is open to selling weapons to Ukraine.


WARSAW, January 30 (Sputnik) – Poland is open to selling weapons to Ukraine, Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna said Friday.“Poland is open to arms sales to Ukraine,” Schetyna said speaking on Polish TOK FM radio. “We are open. This is business,” he added.

Schetyna stressed that the arms sales depend on Ukraine’s financial capabilities.

In October 2014, Schetyna said that Poland had no plans to supply Ukraine with arms.

On January 21, 2015 Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denounced the deliveries of weapons by a number of NATO members and European Union countries as contradicting EU and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) norms.


On Thursday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that the West does not supply Kiev with lethal weapons, despite an announcement made by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in September last year that a number of NATO countries had agreed to deliver modern weapons to the country. Presidential adviser Yuri Lutsenko claimed later that an agreement had been reached at the NATO summit in Wales on the supply of weapons from the United States, France, Poland, Norway and Italy, but the countries cited subsequently denied the statement.

On January 6, the Ukrainian authorities announced that Kiev had received arms that it had previously requested from Lithuania.


Four Polish Warplanes Reinforce NATO Contingent in Lithuania

Two Polish Air Force Russian made Mig 29's fly above and below two Polish Air Force U.S. made F-16's fighter jets during the Air Show in Radom, Poland, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011.

Four Polish MiG-29 fighter airplanes will join NATO contingent in Lithuania, according to Lithuania Ministry of National Defense.


VILNIUS, January 8 (Sputnik) — Four Polish MiG-29 fighter airplanes, aiming to reinforce NATO’s Baltic Air Policing Mission, currently carried out by an Italian air contingent, landed at the Lithuanian Air Force Base in Siauliai, Lithuania’s Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday.According to the ministry’s Wednesday statement, the new contingent will arrive from their permanent station at the 23rd Tactical Minsk-Mazowiecki Air Base.

“The over 100-strong contingent will be manned according to a model similar to the Italian contingent to include pilots, engineers, medical personnel, provision elements, communications and other specialists,” the statement read.

The Baltic States have no military airplanes suitable for air policing; and so the security of the airspace of the three countries is ensured by airplanes from other NATO members based in Lithuania’s Siauliai. Polish airplanes will join four Italian Eurofighter fighter jets which have been in Lithuania since January 1.


The Polish Air Force will take part in the Baltic Air Policing Mission for the sixth time. Previously they ensured the security of the Baltic States’ airspace in May-August 2014.Since 2004, when Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia joined NATO, the Baltic Air Policing Mission was handled by four fighters from one of the bloc’s member countries. However, with the start of the crisis in Ukraine the Alliance increased its presence in the region and doubled the number of military airplanes in Siauliai. Four other airplanes have been based in Estonia since May 1, 2014.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have recently appealed for a larger NATO presence in the region amid the armed conflict in Ukraine. NATO has accused Russia of taking part in the fighting, while Moscow has dismissed the claims as groundless.



NATO Justifies Military Buildup Near Russia by ‘Fairy Tales’


The chief of the Russian General Staff said on Wednesday that NATO has been using “fairy tales” to justify its military activities near Russian border.


MOSCOW, December 10 (Sputnik) – NATO has been using “fairy tales” to justify its intensified military activities near Russian borders, the chief of the Russian General Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, said Wednesday.“Ground-, sea-based and air forces of the alliance have stepped up their activities in Poland, the Baltic region and in the Black and Baltic seas,” he said. “Military exercises and drills explained by contrived fairy tales of ‘threat from the east’ have also intensified.”

“Military exercises and drills explained by contrived fairy tales of ‘threat from the east’ have also intensified,” he added.

Relations between Russia and NATO have deteriorated in the light of the Ukrainian crisis, as the alliance has accused Moscow of meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs, a claim Russia has repeatedly denied.

Following Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March, NATO boosted its military presence in Poland and in the former Soviet Baltic republics of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. In April, the alliance ceased all practical cooperation with Russia, limiting contact to ambassadorial and higher levels.

Moscow has repeatedly expressed concern over the bloc’s expansion in Eastern Europe. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has on several occasions described NATO expansion as a mistake that undermines European stability.

West Directly Involved in Overthrowing Legitimate Governments

The leadership of western countries are directly involved in overthrowing legitimate governments in a number of countries and calls for concern, Russian General Staff head Army Gen. Valery Gerasimov said Wednesday.

“Throughout the year there were continued attempts of interference in the domestic affairs of a number of sovereign states using the so-called color revolution format,” Gerasimov said during a meeting with military attaches from several countries.

According to the Russian Army general’s assessment, “public interest and direct involvement of the political leadership of leading western countries in overthrowing the legitimate state power by using any method cannot but call for our serious concern.”

Earlier in December, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his annual address to the Russian Federal Assembly that the United States always “directly or from behind the scenes” affects Russia’s relations with neighbors, adding that “sometimes it is unclear who to talk to: to the authorities of the country or directly to their US patrons.”

On February 22, there was a change of government in Ukraine, the legitimacy of which residents of the southeastern regions of Ukraine refused to recognize. The situation in Ukraine escalated when Kiev launched a military operation in the southeast of the country.

Since the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict, the United States has shown support to the new government in Kiev. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov repeatedly stated that the US authorities are not helping to resolve the Ukrainian crisis but only fuel it by pushing Kiev toward further confrontation with southeastern regions.