Poland buys Hellfire missiles

Tomasz Waszczuk/PAP

Poland has signed contracts for the purchase of Hellfire missiles to arm its AW149 multi-role helicopters, Poland's defence minister said on Tuesday.

Mariusz Blaszczak said the missiles will also be installed on Apache Guardian attack helicopters, which Poland intends to purchase.

An air-to-ground missile, the Hellfire has anti-armour capabilities or can be used for precision drone strikes. It has been used in combat by the British Army and both the US and Israeli air forces.

The first AW149s helicopters will be delivered to the Polish Air Force's 25th Air Cavalry Brigade before the end of the year.

The helicopters and missiles are produced by the PSL Swidnik arms plant in southeastern Poland.

Last year, Poland had said it intended to buy 96 US-made AH-64 Apache helicopters. The delivery date has not yet been set as the deal needs the consent of the US Congress.

The AW149s will be used to transport and support infantry units, and to take part in search and rescue missions.