KIELCE, Poland — Poland’s potential acquisition of Patriot missiles is valued at nearly U.S. $5 billion, making it the region’s largest defense acquisition in the pipeline, but Raytheon is making headway with negotiations that could secure other customers for its systems in Eastern Europe.
In Lithuania, the government aims to purchase the Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System, or NASAMS, under a deal worth about €100 million (U.S. $119 million). The acquisition would allow Vilnius to become the system’s fifth operator in Europe. Lithuania would also be the first country to obtain the missiles among Eastern European allies. NASAMS was jointly developed by Norway’s Kongsberg and Raytheon based on the latter company’s Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile.
Mike Tronolone, director of international business development for Europe and NATO at Raytheon, told Defense News the Patriot systems and NASAMS are perfectly interoperable, but they constitute separate air defense tiers.
“Lithuania is interested in NASAMS; there are ongoing discussions with the Lithuanian government,” Tronolone said at the MSPO defense industry show in Kielce. “The threats in Europe have changed, as demonstrated by Russia’s actions in Ukraine, and the threat is real and imminent. This is why there is a drive for proven systems that could protect Europe.”
Tronolone said that Patriot missiles have been deployed to Europe since 1985, and Raytheon aims to increase the number of their users in cooperation with local industry players.
“We have partnerships with PGZ in Poland, Rheinmetall in Germany and many other companies,” Tronolone said.
Raytheon says it is also negotiating a potential Patriot missile procurement for the Romanian Armed Forces. Last July, the State Department cleared the sale of seven systems to Romania. The potential deal comprises seven Patriot Configuration 3+ units, complete with radars, control stations, antenna, launching stations and power plants, as well as 56 Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missile-TBM missiles and 168 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Segment Enhancement missiles.