LONDON — The British arm of pan-European missile maker MBDA has struck an agreement with the Polish military to provide its Brimstone missile for a new fleet of tank busters being developed by a local industrial consortium led by PGZ.
The deal comes just weeks after MBDA UK concluded a separate deal with Warsaw to accelerate the delivery of a new ground-based air defense system.
The announcement that the Brimstone anti-tank missile will provide the cutting edge for the Polish vehicle program known as the Ottokar Brzoza came on the same day that PGZ named the members of the industrial consortium set to design and produce the vehicle that will replace the Soviet–era wheeled BRDM-2 currently in service.
Polish munitions company MESKO, which is part of the PGZ-led consortium, already makes components for the Brimstone weapon.
The British have been competing with rival international weapons suppliers for the key part of the weapon system for several years.
Brimstone has been in the news in the last few days after it emerged that Ukrainian troops had been using the British-supplied weapon to destroy Russian armor.
Video footage showed the missile being fired from a truck rapidly adapted to fire a weapon normally used by the British in an air-to-ground role by the Royal Air Force in several conflicts.
Naval, helicopter- and drone-mounted versions of the weapon have also been developed by the British arm of MBDA.
A spokesman for the company said MBDA had been talking with the Poles about possible multiple applications of the weapon but said he was unaware of whether the current agreement for the tank buster vehicle carried provision for other applications.
PGZ chief executive Sebastian Chwalek said in a statement accompanying the announcement that the deal would strengthen cooperation with British industry.
“In difficult times it is good to have partners one can rely on. We are strengthening our cooperation with the UK defense industry. Today’s agreement is another step towards establishing production of the latest generation Brimstone missile in the country,” he said.
It’s the second time in less than a month that PGZ, Poland’s largest defense industrial company, and MBDA UK have made news over a missile cooperation deal.
Britain originally signed a deal last year to supply Poland with MBDA’s Common Anti-air Module Missile (CAMMS) and launcher as its part of an ground-based anti-air program known as NAREW.
But in April the British agreed to accelerate delivery of the first two missile systems to later this year.
PGZ is the lead of an industrial consortium which will see the British elements integrated with locally developed radar and command and control systems.
The original schedule envisaged the weapon being made available in 2027 but the Russian attack on Ukraine, Poland’s neighbor, changed that.
The British Army deployed its own CAMMS based anti-air system, known as Sky Sabre, to Poland earlier this year as a stop gap to boost local air defenses.
Andrew Chuter is the United Kingdom correspondent for Defense News.