Poland enters price negotiations with US for Hellfire missiles
Poland is starting price negotiations with the US regarding the purchase of 800 Hellfire missiles, Polish defence minister has announced.
On March 16, the US State Department authorised the potential sale of the latest version of Hellfire missiles and related equipment to Poland for an estimated cost of USD 150 million and notified US Congress of its approval.
The package, requested by Poland, contains eight hundred AGM-114R2 Hellfire missiles and four training missiles as well as related technical assistance, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said at the time.
The AGM-114R2 is one of the newer variants of the laser-guided Hellfire precision anti-tank missiles. They are most commonly used by AH-64 Apache helicopters and MQ-9 Reaper drones. Poland ordered both of these systems.
On Saturday, Mariusz Blaszczak, defence minister, wrote on Twitter that "the US Congress has agreed to the purchase by Poland of 800 Hellfire missiles, which will be fitted on Polish AW149 support helicopters and ultimately the Apache.
"We are starting price negotiations," he added.
By the end of 2023, the 25th Air Cavalry Brigade of the Polish Armed Forces will receive the first AW149 helicopters, manufactured at PZL Swidnik plant in eastern Poland. Armed with Hellfire missiles, they will transport troops and support them from the air. They will also be used for evacuation and search operations.
In early July, Blaszczak signed a EUR 1.75 billion agreement for the delivery of 32 AgustaWestland AW149 multi-role helicopters for the Polish Army at the PZL Swidnik, which is part of the Italian Leonardo group which produces these machines.
The AW149 together with the logistics package are to be delivered to the Land Forces Aviation in the years 2023-2029 in a configuration that meets the needs of the Polish armed forces.