An Aster missile, manufactured by the European company Eurosam, is displayed in 2002. (Jack Guez / AFP)
WARSAW — Poland said Monday it had shortlisted US manufacturer Raytheon and French-led consortium Eurosam as bidders for a contract to build its air defense system, which local media say is worth $7.9 billion.
The defense ministry said in a statement it had rejected offers from the Israeli government and the MEADS consortium lead by US firm Lockheed Martin.
It added that Polandís defense group PHO would partner up with the winning bidder, to be announced by the end of the year.
The Eurosam consortium is made up of French group Thales and the European defense firm MBDA.
Local media said the contract could be valued at 24 billion zloty (Ä5.8 billion, $7.9 billion) across 10 years.
The central European NATO member has sped up plans to upgrade its military since the crisis erupted in neighboring Ukraine.
It plans to devote 140 billion zloty to the upgrade over a decade.
Unlike other European countries, Poland has kept its defense budget constant throughout the global financial crisis.
According to law, it is fixed at 1.95 percent of gross domestic product, which this year equals 32 billion zloty.