Poland to spend record $48.9 billion on army upgrades

The technical plan to modernize the Polish army will require 185 billion Polish złotys (around $48.9 billion) in financing for the several programs it includes. The relevant document has already been signed by Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, the Polish government website reports.

“This is a record plan in terms of the amount of financing,” Błaszczak observed.

According to the minister, the programs included in the plan reflect the army’s current objectives. One of them is to “reinforce NATO’s eastern flank”. In order to achieve this, a new, fourth division of the Polish army will be formed. “We are decisively and effectively changing the image of the Polish army,” the minister said.

The plan will involve the purchase of short and intermediate-range anti-air missile systems, attack helicopters, airplanes, drones, and coast guard ships and submarines. “We want to purchase 32 multipurpose fifth generation aircraft,” Błaszczak noted.

Poland intends to spend 3 billion złotys ($790 million) on its cybersecurity program, acquiring instruments and software that will enable it to carry out “effective operations in cyberspace”.

In 2019, Warsaw will allocate $2.91 billion to the implementation of the aforementioned plans. In future, the financing for the army upgrades will increase, and by 2025 it is expected to be $6.85 billion. According to the defense minister, the government is already working on an upgrade program that extends to 2034.

In mid February, Poland acquired 20 US-produced HIMARS artillery rocket systems which have a range of 300 km. The deal will cost Warsaw $414 million. Polish President Andrzej Duda said that the systems will help not only to modernize the Polish army, but also to improve security on NATO’s eastern borders. In 2018, Warsaw bought a US-made Patriot aerial defense system in a deal estimated at $4.75 billion.

  Poland, Duda, USA, Błaszczak, Warsaw