Soldiers fire an M142 HIMARS light multiple rocket launcher during a live-fire exercise at a training area near Cincu, Romania. Romania is buying HIMARS, as is Poland.
Poland plans to purchase Lockheed Martin-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems since roughly 2015, but, like its offers to find the Patriot air-and-missile defense system, the sale was complex and hitting several walls.
The country planned to be associated with production work for the HIMARS systems through PGZ, its state-run defense group. It recently signed an arrangement to purchase Patriot missile defense systems after a period of negotiating for work-sharing and offset agreements that nearly killed the program entirely repeatedly. The ultimate tariff of the Patriot system has developed into much greater than Poland initially anticipated.
So Poland has made a decision to go the direct Foreign Military Sales route and buy the HIMARS systems from your U.S. government, much like Romania did earlier this year to speed the acquisition and also to lower the price of purchasing.
The U.S. State Department cleared any $250 million sale in November 2017 for 56 HIMARS launchers. The FMS deal would support a parallel, direct commercial sale between Lockheed and PGZ, which will have been the prime contractor in Poland.
According a number of Polish reports, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak last week announced that the government had decided to cancel previous proceedings in the HIMARS deal, referred to as the Homar program in Poland, and rapidly move forward with negotiations to find the systems from the U.S. government.
“We have indeed selected the formula in which purchasing was made by the Romanians,” Blaszczak said, as outlined by a translation. “The Romanian formula is a lot cheaper, and this is extremely important and faster when it comes to delivery.”
The reports noted a delegation from your Polish Ministry of Defense would travel to the U.S. immediately to operate on the sale to acquire HIMARS.
Reports cited reasons behind ending previous negotiations, including budget issues and also the inability to agree on all provisions associated with the transfer of key technologies under regulation by the U.S. government.
Particularly, Polish news outlet Defence24 reported there is a barrier concerning technological capabilities of some of PGZ’s plants that caused it to be insufficient for planned technology transfers, as outlined by a translation of the report.
“I have to underline that Polish industry will not are experts in these kinds of rockets, we’ve got different specializations, and so the rational approach would be to support Polish defense industry in those areas and competencies, so it already possesses, and developing those competencies,” Blasczcak said.
“Nowhere inside the world would it be true that technologies are transferred in the easy way to another country, even inside framework of your alliance,” he was quoted saying. “We are interested in Poland being equipped inside the most contemporary equipment as fast as possible and also at the very best price.”
Lockheed announced back many years ago that it was restarting its HIMARS production line to be able to build new launchers for that United Arab Emirates, but as then the company has seen an increasing interest, particularly in eastern Europe.
Romania could be the first European country to get HIMARS. Poland would get to be the second. Both countries, as well as the all eastern Europe, are working to beef up their air defenses to deter whatever they perceive as Russian aggression within the region following a country’s annexation of Crimea.
Romania is additionally buying Patriot with the standard FMS procedure.