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Polish MoD discusses possibility of HIMARS coproduction

During a three-day visit to the U.S., Poland’s Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mariusz Błaszczak visited Lockheed Martin’s production site in Camden, Arkansas, where the HIMARS rocket systems are being produced, on Thursday.

“Following talks with the management of Lockheed Martin, I heard assurances of their readiness to cooperate with the Polish defense industry, of their readiness to strengthen the Polish defense industry, which is beneficial also to the United States because it enables an increase in production when it comes to HIMARS [High Mobility Artillery Rocket System],” Błaszczak said during a press conference.

Deputy Prime Minister @mblaszczak begins today a visit to🇺🇸, i.a. to the Camden Lockheed Martin plant where soon to be delivered to🇵🇱#Himars are produced. He will also meet with @SecDef to discuss the 🇵🇱-🇺🇸military cooperation and the security of #NATO's eastern flank and Europe.

— Poland MOD 🇵🇱 (@Poland_MOD) May 4, 2023

He went on to say that as early as this year a “HIMARS center” would be established in Poland, intended as a “hub for the servicing and production of HIMARS, not only for Polish needs but also for European countries,” many of which are interested in buying the rocket system.

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Błaszczak added that this year, the first launchers, ordered in 2019, would reach the 18th Mechanised Division, responsible for defending the so-called Suwałki Gap located between Belarus and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. He said negotiations were underway on the procurement of a further 500 launchers, approved by the U.S. Congress and State Department, and that he was optimistic a deal would be signed soon.

The Polish MoD also discussed the possibility of producing Javelin-guided anti-tank missiles in Poland, which according to him, had proved themselves in Ukraine. Although the Polish army already has Javelins, Błaszczak said the “needs are much greater,” as other European countries are also interested.

The deputy prime minister said that on Friday he would sign a cooperation agreement on defense procurement during a meeting with Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin. He explained that the deal would create a foundation for the Polish defense industry to work more effectively with its U.S. counterpart.

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