Poland is looking to buy several MQ-9 Reaper drones from the U.S. under a special, accelerated procedure. It is eyeing further procurements at a later date amid rising security concerns three weeks into a Russian invasion of its neighbour Ukraine.
The spokesperson for the Polish Defence Ministry’s Armament Agency, Lieutenant Colonel Krzysztof Platek, “We are planning to procure the first MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial systems urgently. We are discussing the supply of several sets.”
Simultaneously Poland is pursuing the Zefir programme. The purchase of MALE-class unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) is being negotiated, Platek said, declining to specify which drones might be ordered.
Poland hopes for the first drones to be delivered before the end of the year. The ministry has not disclosed the planned value of the acquisition.
Platek further added while referring to the war in Ukraine, Europe’s biggest since World War II, “This order is an answer to the security situation, particularly in the central and eastern region of Europe.”
In which aspects Russia has called as a “special military operation” to “denazify” Ukraine. Some Ukraine cities have been destroyed, and more than 3 million people have already fled abroad from Ukraine since the invasion began on February 24.
Meanwhile, both sides have shown progress in peace talks that were set to resume on Wednesday; no deal has been announced yet.
In May 2021, Poland bought 24 Bayraktar drones from Turkey, becoming the first NATO member to buy Turkish-made UAVs. Ukraine used the same drones against invading.