Britain strengthens its relations with Poland and Ukraine

Following Defence Secretary Ben Wallace’s visit to the two Eastern European countries this week, the British government established new defense agreements with Poland and Ukraine. 

The Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM) and launcher from MBDA have been chosen as the core of Poland’s multibillion-dollar NAREW air defense system program which is being developed and overseen by a local company PGZ. 

Meanwhile, on a visit to Ukraine, the British indicated the two sides had made progress in talks over a fleet modernization plan. 

The NAREW initiative has been termed by the Polish government as the largest and most complex modernization effort in the Polish Armed Forces’ history. 

The planned air defense purchase is part of a large-scale upgrading of Poland’s armed forces, which has lately seen them acquire a slew of new weapons, including Patriot anti-missile defense systems, F-35 fighter jets, Navy frigates, and a 250-ton order for Abrams tanks. 

PGZ and its local partners will develop the air defense system’s radar and other important equipment, while MBDA will provide the missile and launcher technologies, allowing the systems to be sourced locally. 

The British Army and Royal Navy have previously purchased CAMMS, which was initially developed for the British military. Several export orders have also been placed for the missile. 

Wallace was in Poland on the final leg of a three-day tour that included stops in Rome and Ukraine, amid escalating tensions with Russia over a potential invasion of Ukraine and the migrant problem in Belarus. 

The visit to Ukraine also brought good news for the British military industry, with the two countries stating that they had made progress toward reaching an agreement to improve Ukrainian Navy warships and base facilities. 

The UK is offering a £1.7 billion ($2.3 billion) loan to enable Ukraine’s naval capabilities to be recapitalized. 

Rival bids from Israeli, Norwegian, US and other corporations were defeated by MBDA’s offer. The statement of intent, according to the British, was a watershed point in British-Polish defense relations. 

The British announced that up to 150 military engineers will be deployed to support Polish troops and police on the Belarus border, boosting cooperation even further. 

Two renovated ex-Royal Navy minesweepers, missiles, new warships, the building of new naval facilities, and numerous support and training packages are all part of the initiative. 

Babcock International, a British warship builder and support services provider, inked a tripartite memorandum of implementation (MoI) with the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and the British government earlier this year to move forward with the upgrades.