Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne has visited Poland this week discussing a strengthening of defence ties including export opportunites for the Thales built Hawkei protected light mobility vehicles and a possible sale of the RAN's remaining FFGs.
The Minister said Poland is undertaking a $46 billion modernisation and expansion of its capability and defence force, with an interest to initially acquire around 50 protected mobility vehicles; with follow-on acquisition programs are expected to increase the requirement to approximately 700.
“Thales Australia’s Hawkei vehicle is ideally placed to provide Poland’s defence forces with the world-class protected vehicle capability they need."
During the visit the Minister witnessed the signing of a memorandum of intent between WB Electronics, a Polish company, and Australian SME Cablex to work together and look to provide WB’s command and communication systems and unmanned air vehicle systems to the Commonwealth and other foreign customers.
Minister Pyne also discussed with Poland their expression of interest in purchasing Australia’s Adelaide class frigates as they come out of service over the next two years. HMAS Darwin will decommission on 17th December 2017, with her sisters HMA ships Newcastle and Melbourne expected to pay off in June and September 2019, respectively.
During his visit to Poland, the Minister discussed export opportunities and the wider Australian-Polish relationship with Mr Antoni Macierewicz, Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Poland and Mr Bartosz Kownacki, Secretary of State for Defence.