Lacking early warning aircraft, such as the E-3 SENTRY/AWACS, Poland has to rely on its NATO partners to monitor its airspace [et au-delà]. But that may well change in the future…
Indeed, on May 22, on the sidelines of a meeting in Legionowo with his counterparts from the “Northern Group” [qui réunit la Grande-Bretagne, les pays baltes, la Pologne, l’Allemagne, les Pays-Bas, la Suède, l’Islande, le Danemark, la Norvège et la Finlande]Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak revealed that discussions were currently underway to purchase Swedish-made early warning aircraft.
“We are about to get early warning planes. We are conducting detailed negotiations with Sweden. I hope they will come to fruition soon,” said Mr Błaszczak. However, he did not specify the type of device envisaged.
Currently, the Swedish air force uses two Saab 340 AEW&C, each equipped with the Erieye radar. These aircraft are soon to be replaced by two Global 6000 aircraft. [fournis par Bombardier] “GlobalEye”, equipped with a suite of sensors insensitive to jamming, the long-range radar Erieye ER, the radar with active antenna SeaSpray [conçu par Leonardo] and an optronic ball. The collected data is then merged into a command and control system [C2] multi-domains.
DPM @mblaszczak: I wish to say for the first time publicly that we are advanced in talks to obtain🇸🇪early warning aircraft. We are conducting detailed negotiations. I hope they will succeed in short time. This way we strengthen resilience of🇵🇱, but also of #NATO‘s eastern flank. pic.twitter.com/9MPIAg9glB
— Poland MOD 🇵🇱 (@Poland_MOD) May 22, 2023
Note that the GlobalEye is a declared candidate for the AFSC program [Future capacité de surveillance et de contrôle de l’Alliance]which should make it possible to replace the 14 E-3 AWACS of NATO’s Airborne Early Warning and Control Force [NAEW&C]. Boeing is also targeting this market, with its E-7 Wedgetail.
As a reminder, last November, Poland ordered two vessels dedicated to the collection of intelligence of electromagnetic origin [ROEM ou SIGINT] with the Swedish group Saab, via a contract worth 620 million euros.
“With Sweden, we have the Baltic Sea in common, we perceive the threats from the Russian side in the same way and therefore we are looking for common solutions to ensure our security”, underlined the Polish minister, after having of the existence of negotiations on early warning aircraft.
In any case, according to the specialized publication ZBiAM, Mr. Błaszczak’s announcement is a “great surprise, because until now the need to purchase such equipment was not included in the statements of the Ministry of National Defense “.