In addition to helicopters, Poland has US-made drones and air defense systems.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak has announced that he will soon send letters to the Pentagon to begin the procedure to order more batches of military equipment to Poland, including attack helicopters from Bell or Boeing.
Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Poland has decided to accelerate its plans to acquire new combat helicopters for the country’s armed forces under its Kruk (Raven) program, replacing the outdated Soviet-designed Mil Mi-24 fleet. Warsaw is expected to buy around 32 new helicopters. The estimated value of the acquisition was not disclosed. Polish defense officials said Boeing is offering the AH-64 Apache, while Bell is releasing its AH-1Z Viper.
Other manufacturers that have expressed interest in supplying their aircraft to Poland include Airbus and Leonardo. However, with Poland’s military acquisitions in recent years shifting noticeably to direct purchases of American weapons, the two European groups have been excluded from the Kruk program’s list.
During the April 20 talks with US Defense Secretary L. Austin, questions were also raised regarding military cooperation between the two countries, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the security situation on the eastern flank. NATO and Europe, the deepening of military interoperability, and the American military presence in Poland.
“We talked about the presence of US troops in Poland. Within days, troops of the 82nd Division were dispatched from the US. This is an example of good cooperation. Polish anti-aircraft forces were reinforced by two Patriot batteries, which were connected to the Polish air defense system, which for me is a certificate of interoperability. We are open to further cooperation. The presence of US troops in Poland is the best deterrent,” said Minister Blaszczak.
During the talks with his North American counterpart, the possibility of accelerating the military equipment already ordered was discussed. So far, Poland has ordered, among others, the PATRIOT system, HIMARS missiles, F35 planes, and ABRAMS tanks.