The defense ministries of Poland and the United Kingdom have entered into an agreement to collaborate on introducing the MBDA-developed Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) family for the Polish NAREW ground-based air defense (GBAD) system.
The signed “statement of intent” will see the two countries share technology to develop Poland’s future GBAD, which is anticipated to have a multi-billion-pound budget.
Flying at supersonic speeds, CAMM missiles can destroy modern air threats including stealth aircraft and high-speed missiles. Each CAMM family missile is equipped with an active radar seeker for target detection.
“This agreement will deliver a step change in our defense co-operation with Poland and paves the way for our militaries to operate even more closely,” UK defense secretary Ben Wallace said.
“MBDA is delighted to be playing such a leading role in the UK-Poland defense partnership. This agreement endorses the deep relationship we have formed with Poland’s defense ministry and Polish industry,” Chris Allam, managing director MBDA UK, added.
The agreement was signed during the UK defense secretary’s visit to Poland where he reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to European defense and security and NATO allies.
It also coincided with a confirmation from the US defense department that the Aegis Ashore capability planned for Poland is on track to be operational by the end of next year.
The Aegis combat system was originally designed as a shipboard system to track and destroy incoming enemy targets, but now the system has also been deployed for use on land, as “Aegis Ashore.”
Already an Aegis Ashore capability is up and running in Deveselu, Romania, about 90 miles from Bucharest. The site, which is under the control of NATO, has been in operation for more than five years now.
A site similar to the one in Romania is also planned for Redzikowo, Poland, near the Baltic Sea. But that site has been delayed due to construction issues — though efforts are now underway to get the site operational by the end of next year.
“My part, which is to install the Aegis Weapon System, has been delayed as we work the military construction with our contractors,” said Rear Admiral Tom Druggan, program executive officer for Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, during a discussion on Thursday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. “We are behind, given the original schedule, no question about that. The good news is we’re getting the quality we want for a facility that’s going to be there 50 to 75 years, and we now have the right management in place in order to move ahead and complete this.”
Over the summer, Druggan said, the Aegis system in Poland was pulled out of storage there and assembled to test it’s operations.
“We … put the whole weapon system together with the exception of the antennas,” he said. “We energized it. And the equipment had been in the containers for a while. We found some issues — [but the] good news is we fixed them. And then we did an upgrade, which is saving time from a future availability. So that system is actually our most upgraded system today, ready to be installed.”