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Poland Eyes $4 Bln Missile Modernization Program

RIA Novosti

17:48 24/09/2012

WARSAW, September 24 (RIA Novosti) - Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski has submitted a defense bill to parliament designed to initiate the comprehensive modernization of the country’s missile defense system, the presidential staff said on Monday.

This bill is key to ensuring stable funding for the modernization program, which has been described as “the highest priority for the Polish Armed Forces in the coming decade.”

Poland’s current missile defense system comprises six missile battalions armed with obsolete, Soviet-made, S-125 Neva (SA-3 Apollo) missiles. Only one also boasts a long range S-200 Vega (SA-5 Gammon) system.

Experts note that, in its current state, Poland's air defense system is simply unable to provide effective defense against an enemy attack.

The bill calls for a missile modernization budget of $2.5-3.7 billion from 2014 through 2023. There are plans to involve other countries, in particular France and Germany, in this modernization effort.

The new system would stand alongside U.S. missile defense facilities, becoming part of NATO’s broader air and missile defense system.

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