May 14, 2014
Poland said to be eyeing missile defense decision in June, July
Polish concerns about Russia's annexation of Crimea and the crisis in Ukraine could further accelerate a decision in the Polish competition.
Poland wanted to choose a winning bidder by the end of the year, which already marked an acceleration from its initial plan to buy a new missile defense system in 2015.
There are four bidders in the Polish tender: France's Thales , in a consortium with European group MBDA and the Polish state defence group; the Israeli government; Raytheon Co , and the MEADS consortium led by Lockheed.
MEADS offer also includes construction of a plant to build PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles in Poland, in addition to existing sites in Arkansas and Japan. Lockheed also offered to help Poland develop its own long-range missile.
Raytheon, which is the prime contractor for the Patriot missile defense system, argues that Poland should join 12 other countries that are using the Patriot system. The company says the Patriot system has been heavily modernized to include new digital processors, touch panel screens and portable trainers.
Critics of MEADS say it has not been tested in combat, while the Patriot system has demonstrated it can fire the PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhanc