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Poland interested in European long-range missiles

At a meeting of the defense ministers of the Weimar Triangle, Sébastien Lecornu from France announced that Poland and Germany are interested in jointly developing long-range cruise missiles.

At the Weimar Triangle defense ministers’ meeting in Paris on June 24, 2024, French Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu announced at a press conference that Poland and Germany are interested in jointly developing long-range cruise missiles.

Land Cruise Missile (LCM) / Image: MBDA

According to French defense industry media, at the meeting with Germany’s Federal Minister of Defense Boris Pistorius and Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, the French counterpart raised the issue of long-range conventional deterrence.

Interestingly, during the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to Berlin from May 26-28 of this year, there was mention of a general and joint long-term cooperation in the field of long-range strike systems. However, no details were provided on this topic. Therefore, the first meeting of the Weimar Triangle defense ministers since 2015 was necessary.

The issue of long- or very long-range strike capabilities is always somewhat taboo for the French, because in reality, we are not supposed to talk about conventional deterrence when we are a nuclear power. But I have been breaking this taboo for several months now by saying: ‘Even a power must support its nuclear deterrence with a conventional deterrence system, in any case with significant conventional forces.’ And so these reflections continue. Poland is interested,” Lecornu said at a press conference with the defense ministers of Germany and Poland.

At the next NATO Summit, which will be held from July 9-11 in Washington, it is expected that the three countries will sign a letter of intent to lay the groundwork for future cooperation in this area. Minister Lecornu set the first milestone in Paris, reminding that France already has technological capabilities and capacities, particularly with the MdCN (Naval Cruise Missile), whose land version, the LCM (Land Cruise Missile), was presented by the European consortium MBDA at the Eurosatory 2024 trade fair.

The LCM is one of the solutions proposed by MBDA (along with Safran) for the French FLP-T (Frappe Longue Portée Terrestre) program, which Thales and ArianeGroup are also interested in. The base MdCN has a range of approximately 1000 km.

Germany, together with Norway, is working on a new supersonic anti-ship missile program codenamed 3SM (SuperSonic Strike Missile) Tyrfing. On June 21 of this year, the German Ministry of Defense submitted a request to the Bundestag for funding of 600 million EUR (644 million USD) for the development of the missile, which could also have a range of 1000 km. This program, jointly carried out by MBDA Deutschland and Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace (KDA), is expected to be completed by 2035. On May 14 of this year, industry media reported the possibility of developing a land-based variant of the NSM (Naval Strike Missile) anti-ship missile.

It is important to remember the future intermediate-range cruise missile for the Bundeswehr, which MBDA Deutschland is working on under the JFS-M (Joint Fire Support-Missile) program. It is expected to have a range of at least 300 km and be compatible with the new multiple launch rocket systems, successors to the MARS-II/MLRS-E systems on tracked chassis, within the Zukünftiges System Indirektes Feuer mittlerer Reichweite program (currently promoted are the Lockheed Martin/Rheinmetall GMARS and KNDS Deutschland/Elbit Systems EuroPULS).

Regarding long-range strike capabilities, Poland is deploying MGM-140 ATACMS ballistic missiles with a range of 300 km along with Homar-A (M142 HIMARS) launchers, and plans to introduce Korean CTM-290 missiles with a range of 290 km along with Homar-K (K239 Chunmoo) launchers. Poland also has air-launched AGM-158A JASSM cruise missiles with a range of 370 km and AGM-158B JASSM-ER extended-range missiles with a range of over 1000 km, a new batch of which was ordered on May 28 of this year.


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