In a strategic move following the MSPO conference, L3Harris Technologies and Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa S.A. (PGZ) joined forces to strengthen Poland’s defence capabilities.
Simultaneously, L3Harris announced plans to establish an electro-optical/infrared sensor manufacturing facility in Poland, reaffirming their commitment to the nation’s security and growth.
Expanding Poland presence
L3Harris Technologies is making strides in enhancing Poland’s defence capabilities and local industry growth. Following the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed with PGZ, the two companies are poised to change communication systems integration and sustainment for the Polish Armed Forces.
The MOU solidifies the partnership between L3Harris and PGZ, envisioning a swift response to Polish defence needs, from system development to in-country field maintenance.
PGZ have been busy in August, following the awarding of a $292.9m contract for 400 light reconnaissance vehicles and the announcement of a framework agreement between UK defence prime Babcock and PGZ on the Miecznik frigate programme, which will deliver three new frigates from 2026 in a deal thought to be worth around $2bn.
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Under this agreement, PGZ subsidiaries Wojskowe Zakłady Łączności Nr 2 SA (WZŁ 2) and PIT Radwar S.A. will renew their status as authorised in-country maintenance facilities for L3Harris tactical radio products. Additionally, L3Harris intends to designate WZŁ 2 and PIT RADWAR as preferred in-country installation and integration providers.
Rick Dickson, L3Harris regional managing director for Central and Eastern Europe, emphasised their commitment, stating, “This MOU represents a great step toward providing our customers with the highest level of support and service for our resilient and interoperable communications solutions.”
Furthermore, L3Harris plans to extend its presence in Poland by inaugurating an advanced electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) engineering and manufacturing facility in 2024. This 2,800-square-metre facility will serve European and international customers with EO/IR sensor systems.
Dave Johnson, vice president of international at L3Harris, expressed the significance of this expansion, stating, “Our advanced EO/IR manufacturing facility and increased business presence in the heart of Europe will enable our customers to remain operationally ready while we continue to strengthen our local partnerships.”
Poland’s defence investment
Questions are asked as to why L3Harris is expanding its presence in Poland. In GlobalData’s analyst briefing, “Poland and its neighbours may be shifting the centre of gravity in European defence & security“, James Marques provides his insights into Poland’s growing military position in Europe as the country’s defence posture has taken a turn following the invasion of Russian soldiers into neighbouring Ukraine.
“Poland’s Homeland Defence Act passed on March 11, 2022, committed to increasing defence spending to 3% of GDP by the end of 2023 – but defence minister Mariusz Blaszczak has stated a longer-term goal may even reach 5% of GDP.
If the pledges made by Poland since February 2022 are to be realised, the country will be on track to field the largest force in the EU by the end of 2023 with an array of modern and capable platforms.”
In August, Polish defence announcements amounted to 50% of the nation’s planned 2023 spend, showing Poland’s desire to spend big in defence to recapitalise its military following donations of its defence inventory to neighbouring Ukraine.
This facility will facilitate research and development and offer advanced repair services and product support, contributing to local job creation.
In a joint statement, both companies affirmed their dedication to “Polonization,” enhancing technological capabilities and contributing to the growth and advancement of the Polish defence sector. This collaboration represents a commitment to support and strengthen Poland’s defence capabilities, enhancing the nation’s security and development.
With L3Harris’s history of supporting the Polish Armed Forces and these recent developments, Poland’s defence capabilities are set to be impacted for the better.