Poland, after supplying US $ 7 billion worth of Soviet arms and weapons systems to Ukraine, is preparing to sign the largest (new) arms supply contract since the end of the Cold War: with around 700 million investment Kiev - with own and European funds - will soon become the first customer for Warsaw's arms exports.
The valuable piece of the agreement is the 155 mm Krab self-propelled howitzer: sixty units will be produced at the Huta Stalowa Wola plant (photo), which is part of the Polish Armaments Group. Currently, the production capacity of the plant - which will have to be upgraded - is 20-30 pieces of artillery per year.
Usually, one of the problems with this type of contract with other countries, in addition to a good offer, had been the inefficient or completely absent involvement of government agencies. This time, officials from the Ministry of State Assets, the Ministry of National Defense and the Prime Minister's Chancellery acted in unison and, more importantly, effectively, like never before.
"It's something of a breakthrough for the Polish defense industry, because we haven't had such a big export contract in years", according to the Polish government. "Weapons - they are well tested - will be important on the battlefield in eastern Ukraine".
By the end of May, Poland had already supplied Ukraine with 18 self-propelled howitzers Krab (three batteries) and trained 100 Ukrainian gunners to work with them.
To make matters worse, "A memorandum has been signed on the establishment of a joint Polish-Ukrainian commission to initiate cooperation between the enterprises of our countries. This commission will prepare recommendations on the format of the creation of a Ukrainian-Polish joint venture for the production of weapons and equipment. military" added Ukrainian Minister Denys Shmyhal in a joint briefing with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Kiev.
Both sides stressed that such a feat will take Ukraine-Poland defense cooperation to a new level and enable the production of modern types of defensive weapons.
The governments of Ukraine and Poland signed eight cooperation agreements in various fields, including energy, military-defense complex, cross-border and customs cooperation, environmental policy, reconstruction of Ukraine, and cooperation on issues of national remembrance.
It goes without saying that Ukraine promises to be an excellent payer in the coming years, thanks to the financial support of Washington and Brussels. Italy at the window once again?
Photo: Ministerstwo Obrony Narodowej