The Polish Armed Forces will be the first on NATO’s eastern flank to acquire MALE UAVs when they acquire the medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) aircraft.
MQ-9 Reaper drones
The MQ-9 Reaper, manufactured by General Atomics, is a drone that has an endurance of 27 hours and can fly up to 50,000 feet, according to the manufacturer’s data.
It is designed for long-term, high-altitude surveillance and can carry a payload of up to 1,500 pounds, including Hellfire and Griffin missiles. The Reaper has been used extensively in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
Lieutenant Colonel Krzysztof Płatek, a spokesperson for the Armament Agency of the Polish Ministry of National Defence, told Defense News:
“We want to urgently acquire these unmanned aerial vehicles, and we’re currently in talks with our American partners.”
He added that the planned acquisition “is related to the situation on Poland’s eastern border” with Ukraine.
The government has yet to reveal the purchase’s value. According to Płatek, Poland intends to acquire the drones as quickly as possible.
The purchase of combat UAVs for the Polish military is the latest development. Last May, Poland purchased 24 Bayraktar TB2 drones from Turkey.
Four sets of UAVs armed with anti-tank missiles will be purchased under the contract. According to data from the ministry, deliveries are planned for 2022 to 2024.
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