WASHINGTON — The Polish Ministry of Defense has re-initiated discussions with the Medium Extended Air Defense System's (MEADS') team spearheaded by Lockheed Martin, an industry source speaking on background has confirmed.
Poland announced in the spring of 2015 that it had picked Raytheon’s Patriot system for its new air and missile defense program called Wisla. Lockheed was in the running but the government excluded it from the competition because MEADS was it is not yet a fielded system.
Poland and the US government began negotiations to purchase the first two Patriot batteries, expecting to sign a contract within a year. But then there was an election in Poland that upended previous defense acquisition decisions and the new government is now studying these decisions made by the former government.
Reuters first reported Thursday that Lockheed was back in talks with the Polish government, citing a deputy defense minister's quotes in published comments.
"We have always maintained that our previous MEADS offer for the Wisla program remains valid," Marty Coyne, MEADS director of business development, said when asked about the possible renewed discussions. But he directed any further questions to the Polish MoD.
Raytheon's vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense, Ralph Acaba, told a few reporters at a company facility in Andover, Massachusetts, Wednesday that Poland is "doing their assessments," adding, a new government re-examining decisions from a previous government is a "natural process."
Acaba said the company and the US Army is working to provide all requested information about the Patriot deal to the Polish government and said he expects the government to finish its assessments in a couple of months.
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.