Poland has short-listed a consortium of France’s Thales and European group MBDA, as well as U.S. firm Raytheon, in its tender for a mid-range missile defence system, the defence ministry said on Monday.
The bids that lost out on the tender, which is estimated to be worth about $5 billion, were from the Israeli government and the MEADS consortium led by Lockheed Martin.
Poland, a NATO member since 1999, had accelerated the process to select a supplier for the missile system after Russia’s intervention in Ukraine prompted fears among NATO members in eastern Europe they could be next in line.
The Polish defence ministry also changed the criteria for the system, saying it should be already operational and in use by a NATO member state’s armed forces.
That ruled out the Lockheed Martin-led bid, which involved technology still in development, and the Israeli bid, called David’s Sling, which is also not yet in operation.
The ministry said terms of the tender will ensure the participation of Poland’s domestic defence industry in the construction of the missile defence, with the state defence holding Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa playing a key role.
Raytheon welcomed the announcement.
“We are moving ahead to provide Poland with the most advanced air and missile defense system in use today by 12 countries around the world,” said Dan Crowley, President, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems.