The Polish government has signed an agreement for the purchase of 800 Hellfire II missiles to be mounted on a new fleet of attack helicopters while the purchase request for Boeing AH-64E Apaches is being processed.
The contract for the sale of the missiles, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, was signed by the Armaments Agency of the Ministry and the United States Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC).
The deal is worth about $150 million, according to officials. Deliveries are scheduled to begin this year and run through 2029.
Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said in a tweet on Tuesday that the weapons are intended to arm “our AW149 support helicopters and, in time, AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters.”
In July 2022, the Polish government signed an agreement to purchase 32 AW149 helicopters manufactured by the Italian company Leonardo. Deliveries of the aircraft are scheduled for the years 2023 to 2029. The contract includes a logistics package, as well as training and simulators.
Also, last year, the Polish Defense Ministry sent a request letter to the US government to acquire 96 Boeing AH-64E Apaches. According to the plan, the helicopters would first be deployed to the army’s 18th Mechanized Division. According to local defense officials based in Siedlce, some 91 km (56.5 miles) east of the Polish capital Warsaw, the division has been designated as a bulwark against a possible Russian invasion.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, when attending the Griffin Shock 23-1 military exercises in northwestern Poland two weeks ago, announced that the Polish pilots were expected to begin training on the Apaches soon and that the first Apaches could reach Poland even before the purchase contract is formally signed.