Ben Wallace signs landmark agreements strengthening UK-Poland defence relations

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Secretary of State for Defence, The Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP in Poland yesterday with Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of National Defence for Poland Mariusz Błaszczak. Photographer: Cpl Tim Hammond - UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022.

The UK will enhance Poland’s military capability and strengthen the defence relationship between the two countries, following the signing of two major defence equipment agreements.

At the Zamość Military Base in Poland yesterday (4th October), UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence Mariusz Błaszczak signed an Air Defence Complex Weapons Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The MOU enables the UK and Poland to cooperate in the development and manufacture of current and future complex weapons, further strengthening the relationship built through the Defence and Security Cooperation Treaty (2017) and deepening the interoperability of our Armed Forces.

Image of the Secretary of State for Defence, The Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP, seen here in Poland yesterday (04/10/2022). Photographer: Cpl Tim Hammond – UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022

The Ministers also signed the Arrowhead-140 Statement of Intent which provides a framework for the UK Government and The Government of Poland to collaborate on the  procurement and operation of three Arrowhead-140 frigates. The Polish Frigates will be a variant of the Arrowhead-140. 

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

“I’m delighted to be in Zamosc today with my friend and close defence partner Marius Balszczak.

“We have had a close defence alliance with Poland for over 150 years and as we face the threat from Russia, we need the equipment and the capabilities to safeguard our people and preserve European stability.

“Our new agreements demonstrate that commitment and the UK’s support for Poland’s defence modernisation plans.”

Yesterday’s signing took place alongside a ceremony marking the first delivery of air defence equipment, Narew, to Poland produced in partnership with MBDA UK and Polish industry.

The complex weapons MOU provides UK support for Poland’s Short-Range Air Defence programme Narew, a key component of Poland’s rapid air defence modernisation programme, enabling further co-operation agreements in the future.

Through the MOU, the two nations will strengthen industry and government links, and support Poland in establishing sovereign capabilities for missile manufacture, providing a framework for industrial cooperation and co-development.

Managing Director of MBDA UK Chris Allam said:

“To deliver Small Narew to Poland in such an extremely short timeframe is a remarkable achievement, and we’re proud that this has been accomplished through our very close partnership with Polish Grupa Zbrojeniowa and thanks to strong support from the UK government. 

“Today’s agreements launch the next step in Polish-UK missile co-operation and underpins the PGZ-MBDA technology transfer proposal on Narew, while also supporting Pilica+, Miecznik, Tank Destroyer, and other vital projects.”

The two ministers also agreed a new working group, which will explore the potential for the UK and Polish Armed Forces to cooperate on the development of a Future Common Missile. Though requirements for the missile are still in development, it is envisioned to be a medium-to-long range, surface launched missile that can be used in both Land and Maritime environments and will be a development of the CAMM family of missiles. 

Following the signing, the Defence Secretary met UK personnel deployed in Southern Poland operating Sky Sabre Air Defence systems and Challenger 2 Tanks.

During his trip to Poland, the Defence Secretary also attended the Warsaw Security Forum where he took part in the future of the Transatlantic Alliance panel discussion. 

Source: MOD / News Licence.

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