Poland Requests US Patriot Missiles - US Missile Defense Commander
US Army Space and Missile Defense Command Commander David Mann said Poland had requested for US Patriot surface-to-air missiles.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Poland has made requests for US Patriot surface-to-air missiles as it moves to complete a $10 billion integrated air and missile defense program, US Army Space and Missile Defense Command Commander David Mann said at a US Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on missile defense.
"They [Poland] talk to us not about additional capabilities along the lines of Aegis Ashore [ballistic missile defense system], but they've talked to us about Patriots," Mann stated on Wednesday.
Poland is expected to complete its Aegis Ashore system by the end of 2018, an investment Mann described as "a big program, a big buy, upwards of $10 billion dollars in integrated air and missile defense."
Mann said Poland has made the request because the surface-to-air missiles are highly accurate, and are "competitors" to other ballistic missile defense systems.
"We don't have a lot of spares in the inventory," the Missile Defense Commander noted.
Mann also said Poland was informed about the low US stockpile, and the United States offered instead the possibility of rotating Patriots into Poland, as well as conducting exercises on the systems.
"In fact, there's an exercise going on this month involving the Patriot Unit," he said.
In 2009, the United States and NATO agreed to the European Phased Adaptive Approach to ballistic missile defense in Europe. One aspect of the phased program is the Aegis Ashore site in Poland, according to public reports by the US European Command.
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