Poland is to seek approval from the US Government to purchase the Patriot air and missile defence system from Raytheon through the foreign military sales (FMS) programme.

Patriot is a long-range, high-altitude, all-weather missile defence system that counters threats from tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, drones and advanced aircraft.

Poland National Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said: “When it comes to the realm of weaponry, which is linked to anti-missile defence systems, anti-aircraft defence systems, today I have signed the decision about the preparation of a ‘letter of request’ to the US Government and Raytheon concerning the ordering of the Patriot system for the ‘Wisla’ programme.”

The proposed deal requires Raytheon to supply a total of eight Patriot batteries, with two batteries and with intermediate battery components to be delivered by the end of 2019.

Equipped with an omni-directional radar, the third battery will be delivered in 2020.

"Poland's formal request is an important milestone toward becoming the 6th Nato Patriot country and the 14th Patriot partner nation."

If the deal goes ahead, Poland will become the 14th Patriot partner nation, Raytheon said in a statement.

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Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems president Wes Kremer said: "Poland's formal request is an important milestone toward becoming the 6th Nato Patriot country and the 14th Patriot partner nation.

"Raytheon will continue supporting the US and Polish governments through the foreign military sales process. Poland's Patriot solution provides a proven capability against the evolving threat of ballistic and cruise missiles, and advanced aircraft and drones."

Raytheon said that it will partner with the Polish Government and industry during the FMS process to finalise offset and industrial participation plans.

The company has already signed eight contracts and more than 30 letters of intent with Polish businesses.

Image: Poland National Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz at the 24th International Defense Industry Exhibition. Photo: courtesy of Ministry of National Defence.