MoD says Turkish drones will help ensure Poland's security
The Polish defence minister has said that the purchase of Turkish drones will strengthen Poland's position in the world and its security.
Poland will buy four sets of Bayraktar combat drones under a deal signed during President Andrzej Duda’s visit to Turkey on Monday.
The sets will include 24 unmanned combat aerial vehicles armed with guided anti-tank missiles. Poland is the first Nato state to buy Turkish UAVs.
"We have been acting in the interest of Poland, by means of seeking such opportunities which will strengthen Poland's position in the international arena, and will ensure this country's security," Mariusz Blaszczak told a Polish radio programme on Thursday.
Rejecting charges that the government had failed to support the Polish arms industry, Blaszczak said that "such UAVs are not being produced in Poland.”
He added: "Maybe it will be possible within ten, 20 or 15 years, but we cannot wait. The Polish army is in need of weapons."
Blaszczak also dismissed criticism that the purchase lacked a tender process and included no know-how transfers, saying it was effectiveness and time that mattered.
The minister also added that the purchased equipment would be serviced in Poland. "This means that, in a way, Turkey has been sharing its solutions with Poland," he concluded.