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Several hundred JASSM-ER missiles for the Polish Air Force

The Armament Agency, on behalf of the Polish Ministry of National Defense, signed an intergovernmental agreement with the USA for the supply of several hundred AGM-158B-2 JASSM-ER air-launched cruise missiles.

On Tuesday, May 28, 2024, at the Department of Military Foreign Affairs in Warsaw, the Armament Agency, on behalf of the Polish Ministry of National Defense, signed an intergovernmental agreement with the USA for the delivery of several hundred AGM-158B-2 JASSM-ER air-launched cruise missiles. The ceremony was attended by, among others, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, State Secretary in the Ministry of National Defense Paweł Bejda, Head of the Armament Agency Brigadier General Artur Kuptel, and U.S. Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski.

Photos: Ministry Of National Defense

The agreement was concluded between the State Treasury – Ministry of National Defense and the government of the United States. It concerns the delivery of several hundred long-range air-to-ground missiles, AGM-158 JASSM-ER. The value of the agreement is approximately USD 735 million net (PLN 2.871 billion net / PLN 3.531 billion gross). Deliveries will be carried out between 2026 and 2030.

Last week, the Barbara reconnaissance system, which drastically enhances and changes the reconnaissance capabilities for the Polish army, was introduced. That system provides observation and information on airspace violations over hundreds of kilometers. Today, we are signing a $735 million agreement. Another multi-million dollar contract for the purchase of air-to-ground missiles, JASSM-ER, which will be part of the Polish army’s equipment. We have already purchased missiles from this family in 2014 and 2018. These missiles are already being used by the Polish army, but this is the largest purchase so far. It will be several hundred air-to-ground missiles with a range of about 1000 kilometers. This is no longer a merely tactical solution or purchase; this is a strategic purchase,” said Deputy Prime Minister Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz.

“This is strategic equipment for the Polish army, changing our position and our capabilities in the airspace, our capabilities regarding deterrence and defense. This is definitely a key agreement. I would like to thank the ambassador for his unwavering support for the Republic of Poland. For always being present with us, supervising, and promoting these procurement opportunities for the Polish Armed Forces from the American side. (…) The first deliveries will arrive in 2026 and will be part of the Polish army’s equipment. From this sensory element, which is Barbara, we are moving to effectors, which are long-range air-to-ground missiles. This is our lasting alliance with the United States. We are confirming it once again. More purchases of equipment that is not produced in Poland, that is of the most modern class. It changes the face of the Polish army. It is a kind of ‘game changer’ for the Polish army. These are tangible confirmations of our cooperation and our alliance,” said the Deputy Prime Minister during the conference.

“Dozens of people contributed to the success of being able to purchase modern, state-of-the-art weaponry. I would like to thank the entire team led by Minister Paweł Bejda in our ministry. Minister, thank you very much, as your personal involvement is indispensable. Thank you to the Armament Agency. Many people don’t know, but this is the agency that handles all our orders. This year, I plan to sign 150 contracts. Some have already been signed. (…) Thank you very much. The Polish state is strong thanks to the people who make up its structures. The strength of the state is proven in such strategic moments when it comes to the most important decisions. This is one of the most important procurement decisions. It is a strategic purchase for the Polish army. It changes our position, strengthens our security, raises our level of security, and enhances our defense and deterrence capabilities. In this way, we are elegantly and precisely fulfilling the mission set before us by NATO. The North Atlantic Alliance tasks Poland with strengthening its operational and tactical capabilities in every area. We are rising to this challenge. Poland is the country that passes this test,” emphasized the Minister of National Defense.

As argued by the Ministry of National Defense, the purchase of AGM-158 JASSM-ER missiles stems from the need to increase the number of such weapon systems in the Polish Armed Forces. The war in Ukraine has demonstrated the importance of the ability to strike targets located even far behind the front lines, and the range of the missiles to be purchased is approximately 1000 km.

“We are ordering hundreds of JASSM-ER air-to-ground missiles for the Polish combat air force. Today, we signed an extremely strategic contract that strengthens the security of our citizens. Effective deterrence is one of the pillars of building the defense potential of the Polish Armed Forces,” wrote Deputy Minister Paweł Bejda, who is responsible for overseeing the technical modernization of the military, on X.

On March 12 of this year, Poland received approval from the U.S. Department of State for the potential purchase of nearly 1,800 air-launched missiles of three types, valued at up to USD 3.679 billion (PLN 14.45 billion). Among them, a request was made to purchase 821 AGM-158B-2 JASSM-ER cruise missiles.

The package also includes classified test equipment, weapon system support, integration and test equipment support, delivery and support for classified software, public and technical documentation, transportation, engineering, technical, and logistical support services from the U.S. government and the contractor (Lockheed Martin), as well as other related logistics and program support elements. The estimated total cost is USD 1.77 billion (PLN 6.91 billion).

As part of the mentioned package, Poland also requested 745 AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles and 232 AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II missiles. Additionally, on April 24 of this year, Poland received approval to purchase 360 extended-range AGM-88G AARGM-ER anti-radiation missiles.

According to current information, Poland has purchased 40 AGM-158A JASSM missiles with a range of 340 km and 70 AGM-158B JASSM-ER (Extended Range) missiles with a range of at least 926 km (and in practice over 1000 km). Last year, there was expressed interest in the missiles being developed under the original name AGM-158D JASSM-XR (Extreme Range) with a planned range of 1600-1900 km, which interestingly received a changed designation to AGM-158B-2. Work on these was commissioned in September 2018. Deliveries of the first batch of 40 missiles for the USAF were to begin in January of this year. However, in the USAF budget request for the fiscal year 2024, it was noted that the AGM-158B-2 would be an improved variant of the AGM-158B with a new fuze, GPS receiver, expanded software, and an improved Master Control Unit (MCU).

Recently, the Kingdom of the Netherlands decided to purchase 120 JASSM-ER missiles. Other users include the USA (since 2014 in the USAF and US Navy), with Finland, Australia, Germany, and Japan joining them in the future.

Missiles from the JASSM family have been used in combat at least twice so far. In April 2018, American B-1B Lancer bombers fired 18 of them at targets in Syria. On October 27, 2019, an undisclosed number of missiles were used to destroy the headquarters of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the country, near the border with Turkey. It has not been publicly disclosed whether B-1Bs used these missiles in the most recent attack on February 2 on Iranian targets in Syria and Iraq.

Źródło: Ministerstwo Obrony Narodowej


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