Poland fast-tracks Reapers with a wary eye on its eastern border
Polish website Defence 24 reported on 28 February that Poland has ordered MQ-9A Reaper UASs as an urgent acquisition connected directly with the tense security situation on its eastern borders, with Russian forces embedded in Belarus and invading Ukraine.
No details were given as to how many Reapers would be bought from General Atomics and the procurement cost or timeline, but Shephard Defence Insight gives a unit cost of $25.04 million for the MQ-9A.
The Defence 24 report cited Lt Col Krzysztof Płatek of the Polish Armament Agency as saying that this emergency procurement is not associated with the ongoing Zefir UAV programme.
Shephard reported earlier this month that a procurement process for Zefir will be launched later in 2022 to cover the acquisition of 12 MALE-class reconnaissance and combat UAVs with an operating radius of up to 1,000km.
The Polish Ministry of National Defence has completed analytical and conceptual studies for Zefir, with General Atomics joining Elbit Systems (Hermes 900), and Turkish companies Baykar (Akinci) and Turkish Aerospace (Anka) as potential bidders.
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