Poland's arms exports drop by 20 percent in 2019 - MFA

Poland's arms exports drop by 20 percent in 2019 - MFA Leszek Szymański/PAP

The value of Polish arms and military equipment exports fell in 2019 by 20 percent according to a report released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.

Poland exported military equipment worth EUR 390.5 million, down from EUR 486.9 million in 2018.

US customers remain the largest recipients of weapons (32 pct - EUR 127.3 mln), followed by Ukraine (11 pct - EUR 43.9 mln), Algeria (9 pct - EUR 38.7 mln) and Thailand (8 pct - EUR 34.3 mln).

According to Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz, the Polish defence industry, largely based on domestic orders, will have a difficult time in maintaining its position on foreign markets appropriate to its potential but gave his assurance that companies can count on the full support of the Foreign Ministry and Polish diplomatic missions.

Minister Przydacz noted that the European Defence Fund offers a chance to optimise the high costs of research and development and technological cooperation, which is becoming more and more popular among Polish companies.

The ML 10 category, including unmanned aerial vehicles, engines and equipment, including those designed for military purposes, remains the most important element in the structure of Polish arms and military equipment exports. The value of exports in this category amounted to over EUR 191 million in 2019.

This is a result, according to the report, of cooperative exports of companies working with foreign concerns or being their subsidiaries. These companies, producing components for aeroplanes, helicopters and land vehicles, remain the main Polish exporters of equipment included in the military list.

The value of export products from the ML 6 category, including ground vehicles and their components, reached EUR 45.2 million. An additional EUR 30.3 million was gained thanks to the exports of rockets, guided missiles, other explosive devices and charges and related equipment and accessories as well as specially designed components for them (ML 4 category).

The list of exported products includes, among others, rifles and carbines, pistols, Grom anti-aircraft missiles and S-70i helicopters