WARSAW — The Polish Defense Ministry has unveiled plans to acquire cruise missiles for the three submarines it aims to purchase by 2023, amid concerns over Russia’s increased military presence in Eastern Europe, local analysts say.
Warsaw is in talks with Washington and Paris over a potential military deal that would be carried out as part of the Defense Ministry’s Polish Claws program, designed to significantly improve the country’s deterrence capacity.
“Indeed, we have asked the French and the Americans on the possibility of acquiring cruise missiles for our future submarines,” Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak tweeted on March 12.
The announcement by the Polish official came following a report by local daily Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, which learned that Warsaw has launched negotiations on acquiring Tomahawk cruise missiles from the US. To date, only the US and UK has the missiles. The long-range Tomahawk is manufactured by Raytheon.
In an interview with Polish broadcaster Polskie Radio on March 13, Siemoniak confirmed the report, and said Poland could become one of the few NATO countries to possess such weapons.
“We are currently preparing a tender for a modern submarine, and one of the capabilities we want it to be fitted with is the cruise missile. As we are aiming to extend the scope of potential bidders, we have submitted requests to various countries, asking whether they are ready to provide us with such weapons. This weapon is so advanced that [its sale] requires the approval [of respective governments],” Siemoniak said. “After a thorough analysis, I decided that Polish submarines should have such a capability, and we have asked all [the countries] which could supply such weapons to us, also our American partners.”
The planned deal is reportedly to be signed by the ministry in 2017.
Read More:Poland Eyes Cruise Missiles for Subs.