Poland has decided to speed up its tender for a missile defense system, the Defence Ministry said, in a sign of Warsaw’s disquiet over the tension between neighboring Ukraine and Russia.”By the end of this year we want to already have chosen an offer. That is the acceleration by several months, compared to our original plans, that we are talking about,” said Czeslaw Mroczek, Deputy Defence Minister
The NATO member had planned to determine the supplier of its missile defence system in 2015, but the crisis in Ukraine and concerns about Russia’s annexation of Crimea have prompted officials to speed up the timetable.There are four bidders: France’s Thales, in a consortium with European group MBDA and the Polish state defence group; the Israeli government; Raytheon of the United States; and the MEADS consortium led by Lockheed Martin.
One of the bidders, MEADS, said the tender was worth about $5 billion, but experts say the whole missile defence system could be worth as much as 40 billion zlotys ($13 billion), including maintenance costs. It is to be completed by the end of 2022.Mroczek said the decision to accelerate the process was partly caused by Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula.”To a certain extent, the decision on accelerating this process is the result of a review commissioned by the prime minister and the defence minister because of the situation in Ukraine,” Mroczek said.