US Approves Anti-Tank Missile Sale to Poland

March 5, 2020 Updated: March 5, 2020
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The State Department On March 4 approved a potential sale of 180 Javelin anti-tank guided missiles and related equipment to Poland, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement, adding that it notified Congress about the potential sale.

The purchase request, which includes training, U.S. technical assistance, and other elements of logistics support, was made by Poland in September last year, according to the DSCA statement.

The proposed sale does not currently include any offset agreement, but it can be added in the negotiation phase, according to the statement.

The potential contract would be fulfilled by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Javelin Joint Venture.

The potential deal is in line with the foreign policy and national security strategy of the United States and will also improve the security of Poland, a NATO ally, thus contributing to the overall security and stability in the Eastern European region, the statement says.

The proposed sale “will help Poland build its long-term defense capacity to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity in order to meet its national defense requirements,” the statement says, and it “will not alter the basic military balance in the region.”

Javelin is a “fire-and-forget” anti-tank guided missile that “can be carried and launched by a single person,” or even fired from an unmanned ground vehicle, according to a Raytheon website. “Javelin has been used in Afghanistan and Iraq in more than 5,000 engagements,” the website says.

The State Department approval also includes 79 requested Javelin Command Launch Units, which perform surveillance and allow a gunner to see the targets.

Poland’s Minister of Defense Mariusz Blaszczak welcomed the approval. He said on Twitter:

“[The Polish Territorial Defense Force] @terytorialsi will soon get Javelin launchers with missiles. The State Department has already approved the sale. The contract includes training equipment, spare parts, and training. We are waiting for the consent of Congress and then we will start price negotiations.”

Ukraine signed a contract for the Javelin anti-tank missile system in the last quarter of 2019, according to Reuters.

Poland has already signed a $4.6 billion deal with the United States for its F-35 jet fighters. In 2018, Poland signed a contract for procuring the Patriot air and missile defense system, as well as the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, according to the Department of State.

“Poland is a crucial strategic ally in Central Europe and cooperates with the United States in international fora to promote stability and security in the region. To Poland’s east, Russia continues to engage in frequent malign influence activities and hybrid threats, including cyber, and use unconventional tactics to undermine our collective security,” Department of State says in a December statement.

“Together, the United States and Poland maintain pressure on Russia, which continues to undermine the rules-based international order,” the statement says.