Poland said on Tuesday it would buy Raytheon’s Patriot missiles from the United States and chose Europe’s Airbus utility helicopters for further tests, albeit reducing the size of this potential order.
The choice of suppliers in military contracts, worth an estimated $8 billion, strikes a transatlantic balance as eastern Europe’s largest economy faces rising tensions with Russia.
“The government has accepted Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak’s recommendation on awarding the order of Patriot sets … to the government of the United States,” the defense ministry said in a statement.
Poland will buy eight batteries of the missiles by 2025, the ministry said, adding that it plans to have acquired the first two batteries within three years of signing the deal.
A consortium of France’s Thales and European group MBDA was also competing for the tender — the largest in Poland’s military history — offering an alternative anti-missile defense system.