Poland seeking submarine-launch cruise missiles

AFP , Thursday 12 Mar 2015

Poland
Poland's Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak (R) (Photo: Reuters)

Poland is seeking advanced cruise missiles to equip three new submarines it wants to acquire by 2030, the NATO member's minister of defence said Thursday.

Tomasz Siemoniak confirmed on Polish public radio that Poland had asked the United States about the availability of Raytheon's Tomahawk cruise missiles.

"Last year, I decided that Polish vessels should be able (to launch cruise missiles) and we are speaking to all those able to deliver this kind of weapon, including the Americans," he said.

Procedures to begin the submarine tender could be launched this year, the minister added.

If Washington greenlights the sale of Tomahawks to Warsaw, they could compete in the Polish tender against France's MdCN missile systems exclusively used to equip submarines made by the country's DCNS group.

Looking east to the bloody conflict gripping Ukraine, Poland has kicked off an unprecedented military spending spree worth some 33.6 billion euros ($42 billion) to overhaul its forces over a decade.

Its long shopping list includes an anti-missile shield and anti-aircraft systems, armoured personnel carriers and submarines as well as combat drones.

The plans bring Warsaw in line with NATO's recommended defence spending level of 2.0 percent of gross domestic product.

Seventy multi-role helicopters top the list, a contract worth 2.5 billion euros.

To counter an upped Russian military presence in the Baltic and Black Sea region, NATO is boosting defences on its eastern flank with a spearhead force of 5,000 troops and command centres in the Baltic states, Bulgaria, Poland and Romania.

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