The Polish armed forces will receive their first Narew ground-based air defense (GBAD) system this year, following the signing of a contract for the purchase of the system on March 14.
Poland’s defense minister Mariusz Błaszczak said the deal would see the first fire module of the system, which will be based on the MBDA-developed Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) family, delivered in September this year.
The second fire module would be delivered “at the turn of 2022 and 2023,” according to the Polish defense ministry’s schedule.
This is in contrast to previous announcements by officials, which said Poland would be receiving the first Narew systems sometime in 2027.
Poland is buying the GBAD under an agreement with the UK from November 2021. Missile developer MBDA will be working with Poland’s state-owned defense conglomerate PGZ, which will be in charge of integrating the system with other Polish armed forces inventory.
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.
Announcing the signing of the contract, defense minister Błaszczak reflected on the situation in Ukraine, and Russia’s unprovoked invasion there, noting that Poland must draw lessons from the events and boost defensive capabilities.
“We can clearly see that Polish Pioruns, i.e. very short-range anti-aircraft weapons, work well in Ukraine. Patriots have their reputation established in the world,” Błaszczak said.
He noted that Narew would provide the intermediate level of defense between the Piorun and Patriot systems. Poland is buying two Patriot Configuration 3+ batteries as part of the Wisla air-defense program.
In addition to these, Poland’s air space is also set to be protected by the Aegis Ashore system which will be operated by the United States.
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. The one planned for Poland will be based in Redzikowo, near the Baltic Sea, and is expected to be operational by the end of the year, according to previous statements from US officials.