WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of State approved a possible $4 billion foreign military sale of the Integrated Battle Command System to Poland for its developing air-and-missile defense systems.
The State Dept. notified Congress, which will decide whether to approve the deal, according to a Sept. 11 Defense Security Cooperation Agency announcement.
The Northrop Grumman-developed IBCS system was cleared by the U.S. Army for full-rate production in the spring of 2023, but Poland will be the first to declare IBCS operational.
If approved, the sale would include 93 IBCS Engagement Operations Centers and 175 IBCS Integrated Fire Control Network relays that would be used to fill out the required Patriot batteries for the Wisla medium-range air-and-missile defense program as well as Poland’s Narew short-range air defense program, Jarrod Krull, a Northrop Grumman spokesman, told Defense News.
Also included is capability for supporting activities such as network encryptors, software development and component integration, system integration lab infrastructure and test tools and equipment, flight test infrastructure, test targets and range costs and fees, according to the DSCA announcement.
Poland received the first IBCS systems as part of its first order of Patriot air defense systems it previously bought, and will soon declare them operational.
With Russia carrying out an invasion of neighboring Ukraine, Poland is clambering to buy high-end defense capabilities. It reached an agreement with the U.S. in 2018 to buy Raytheon Technologies-made Patriot systems bolstered by an advanced battle command system that the U.S. Army was still developing.
Poland received a waiver to acquire IBCS because it wanted the capability before it would be fielded to U.S. soldiers. Typically, American-made weapon systems are fielded to U.S. forces before they’re sold internationally.
The country’s first order, which included two Patriot Configuration 3+ batteries, came with a $4.75 billion price tag.
As part of the deal, Northrop delivered two firing batteries of IBCS, which consists of six engagement operations centers, six integrated collaborative environment tents and associated equipment, and 12 integrated fire control network relays.
Poland will also be the first international customer for the U.S. Army’s new air and missile defense radar still in development. Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak approved a letter of acceptance to buy 12 RTX-developed Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensors, or LTAMDS, along with 48 Patriot launchers earlier this month.
Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.