US manufacturers eye Javelin anti-tank missile production in Poland

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US manufacturers eye Javelin anti-tank missile production in Poland

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s state-run defense group PGZ has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Javelin Joint Venture (JJV), a partnership between Lockheed Martin and RTX, formerly known as Raytheon Technologies, to jointly produce Javelin anti-tank weapons.

“Together with PGZ, we are exploring a number of opportunities to leverage the resident skills and expertise of Polish industry for Javelin co-production,” Andy Amaro, the president of the JJV and RTX’s Javelin program director, was quoted in a statement.

The deal was inked on the second day of this year’s MSPO defense industry show. The event runs Sept. 5-8 in Kielce.

PGZ said in a statement that the team-up with U.S. industry players will allow the partners “to evaluate the possibility to set up a final assembly plant and produce components in Poland.”

JJV representatives have also submitted an offer to the Polish group to have parts of Javelin weapons produced at PGZ’s subsidiary Mesko, according to the statement.

Poland’s and Ukraine’s militaries also both use the Javelin, a weapon celebrated on social media for its effectiveness against Russian armor.

Mesko has played a key role in Poland’s efforts to arm its neighbor Ukraine against the invading Russian forces. Located in Skarżysko-Kamienna, in the country’s central part, Mesko is the largest producer of ammunition and rockets in the Polish market. Among others, the defense factory has manufactured its flagship Piorun (Thunderbolt) short-range man-portable air defense (MANPAD) systems and ammo for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The war in Ukraine has spurred additional orders for Mesko’s products from the Polish Army, but also other allies from the region. In September 2022, Estonia’s Centre for Defence Investment ordered Pioruns for the nation’s military, purchasing 100 launchers and 300 missiles.

The Piorun can hit targets at an altitude of up to 4 kilometers (2.5 miles), and is enabled with a range of up to 6.5 kilometers (4 miles), according to its producer.

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