Poland's air and missile defense is about to get a boost. On Monday, Deputy PM and Minister of Defense Mariusz Błaszczak said he welcomed Germany's offer to deploy additional Patriot batteries to Poland and suggested to locate them near the border with Ukraine.
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The German Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht offered to strengthen Poland's air defense system after two Polish citizens were killed last week in a shell explosion in the border town of Przewodowo.

Germany offers to boost Poland’s missile defense system

According to the DPA news agency, Germany, whose Air Force has already sent Patriot batteries to Slovakia, is ready to boost Poland's defense system with Eurofighter jets and Patriot missile and air defense launchers throughout 2023 "and maybe even longer". Two batteries of the US Patriot launchers ordered in 2018 have already arrived in Poland, but will not be combat-ready until early next year.

As reported by the Polish Press Agency, Poland’s Minister of Defense Mariusz Błaszczak suggested in a phone conversation with his German counterpart on Monday that the missile launchers be deployed near the border with Ukraine.

Poland’s take on the European anti-missile shield initiative

Several US Patriot missile launchers are already stationed near the city of Rzeszów (southeastern Poland), but they are meant to protect the Jasionka airport and a US military base. During a NATO summit in Madrid this summer, the Polish government did not ask NATO to increase its air and missile defense system - something the opposition is now pointing out as a major mistake. Commenting on the proposal to establish a German-led European anti-missile shield and testing the first Patriot launchers in October, Minister Błaszczak wrote: "we have built a multi-layered air defense system".

Amerykanie prezentują obsługę baterii Patriot podczas wspólnych ćwiczeń żołnierzy WP i US Army - w ramach operacji Atlantic Resolve. Sochaczew, 21 marca 2015 r.
Amerykanie prezentują obsługę baterii Patriot podczas wspólnych ćwiczeń żołnierzy WP i US Army - w ramach operacji Atlantic Resolve. Sochaczew, 21 marca 2015 r.  Fot. Franciszek Mazur / Agencja Wyborcza.pl

Back in December 2012, Germany and the Netherlands decided to send two Patriot batteries and 250 soldiers to aid NATO ally Turkey. It was a coordinated response to shelling incidents on the border with Syria in which five people lost their lives. The batteries remained stationed in Turkey until 2015.

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