The $7.6 billion deal that Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz announced last Thursday morning, during President Donald Trump’s visit to Warsaw, revolves around Israeli Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ technology without which the Poles would have nothing to do with the deal.
The US-based Raytheon is Rafael’s close partner in the development and production of Stunner, the interceptor of the David’s Sling system, which is possibly the world’s most advanced interceptors in its class—it can be fired at ranges from 25 to 300 185 miles.
Stunner works well with both Rafael’s David’s Sling system and Raytheon’s Patriot system, and the Poles want the Stunner inside their Patriot system.
Macierewicz announced on live TV Thursday that “a memorandum was signed tonight that the US government has agreed to sell Poland Patriot missiles in their most modern configuration.” A memorandum signed between the US and Poland includes and American commitment to include in the deal technology related to SkyCeptor missiles and the 360-degree radar.
The 360-degree radar peripheral defense is also a Rafael development.
Macierewicz said on Thursdays that he had told Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that the SkyCeptor missile and 360-degree radar technology are critical, and without them there would not deal.
Last September, Christopher King, director of Israeli Cooperative Programs for Air and Missile Defense Systems at Raytheon Missile Systems, told IHS Jane’s that Raytheon had received a marketing licence from the US government to include SkyCeptor as the low-cost interceptor (LCI) in the Patriot solution for Poland’s WISLA program. King added that Rafael and Raytheon have agreed to partner with Polish industry to source components for SkyCeptor, and build a SkyCeptor assembly facility in Poland.
Here’s a cute note: Victor Murakhovsky, editor-in-chief of the Russian magazine “Arsenal of the Fatherland,” told RIA Novosti that Patriot is an “aging system that doesn’t bear comparison with Russia’s S-400 missile system.”
“This system does not represent a threat to Russia,” Murakhovsky insisted. “You have to remember that despite its gradual modernization it has a number of shortcomings. Secondly, after all it is a defensive type of system and is not capable of using any type of attack missiles. If you compare it with Russia’s S-400 air defense system, the Patriot is inferior in a range of parameters, in particular with regard to its mobility and ability to combat high-precision ballistic missiles.”
Which suggests the Russian are very worried.