Mar 24, 2014

Poland speeds up missile defense plan amid Ukraine crisis

Poland has decided to speed up its tender for a missile defense system, in a sign of Warsaw's disquiet over the tension between neighboring Ukraine and Russia.
Poland had planned to determine the supplier of its missile defence system in 2015, but the crisis in Ukraine and concerns about Russia's annexation of Crimea have prompted officials to speed up the timetable.
There are four bidders: France's Thales, in a consortium with European group MBDA and the Polish state defence group; the Israeli government; Raytheon of the United States; and the MEADS consortium led by Lockheed Martin.
The decision to accelerate the process is partly caused by Russia's military intervention in Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula.
The first phase of the Polish system is to comprise eight sets of mid-range interceptor rockets, which may later be supplemented by short-range ones. Poland has already passed legislation to secure funding for the shield.
The planned system is separate from elements of a U.S. missile shield to be deployed in Poland by 2018.

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