Poland will purchase nearly a hundred AH-64E Apache helicopters as part of its military modernization program.
The announcement comes as the European nation increases its defense spending amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
The months-long war is considered a threat to other European countries, especially NATO members such as Poland.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was expected to announce the acquisition under the Kruk program — an initiative that had been expected to cover only 32 Apaches.
However, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak revealed on Twitter that Warsaw is pursuing 96 AH-64E Apache helicopters for six squadrons.
“Another good news! We sent an inquiry to the US regarding the acquisition of 96 AH-64E APACHE helicopters in the latest GUARDIAN version for the needs of the Aviation of the Land Forces,” Błaszczak wrote.
“Along with helicopters, we will also obtain technology transfer.”
Kolejne dobre wieści! Wystosowaliśmy zapytanie ofertowe do USA dotyczące pozyskania 96 śmigłowców AH-64E APACHE w najnowszej wersji GUARDIAN na potrzeby Lotnictwa Wojsk Lądowych. Wraz ze śmigłowcami pozyskamy również transfer technologii. pic.twitter.com/VdZUybVRCc
— Mariusz Błaszczak (@mblaszczak) September 8, 2022
The Apache Helicopter
Developed by Boeing, the AH-64E Apache is a combat-proven helicopter capable of destroying armor, personnel, and materiel targets in obscured battlefield conditions.
It is equipped with an M230 30-mm cannon, Hydra-70 2.75-inch rockets, and HELLFIRE air-to-ground missiles that can hit targets up to 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) away.
The E-variant features multiple upgrades, such as the improved Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision System, allowing easier target designation.
The Apache also has enhanced infrared imaging, blending infrared, and night vision capabilities.
According to Boeing, being selected by Poland to provide attack helicopters will strengthen US-Poland ties, enhancing interoperability and military cooperation.
“Boeing is honored that the Government of Poland has selected the AH-64E Apache for the Polish Armed Forces’ new attack helicopter fleet,” the company stated on its website.
“Our partnership with the Polish Armaments Group in particular will continue to expand as we implement training and sustainment efforts with local industry.”
We're honored the Government of Poland has selected the AH-64E Apache for its new attack helicopter fleet. We look forward to partnering with the Polish Armed Forces and the Polish defense industry to deliver and sustain the #AH64.
Statement: https://t.co/1xCsogHCDJ pic.twitter.com/09SEG3paje
— Boeing Defense (@BoeingDefense) September 8, 2022
Defense Spending Spree
Poland is also investing 3.8 billion Polish złoty ($798 million) for an additional 48 Krab self-propelled howitzers and accompanying vehicles.
The artillery platform is equipped with a 12.7-mm heavy machine gun and can fire NATO-grade projectiles to a maximum range of 40 kilometers (25 miles).
The country will also procure tanks, howitzers, and fighter planes from South Korea to strengthen its defense capabilities.
The deal reportedly includes 48 FA-50 light combat fighter jets, 180 K2 “Black Panther” tanks, and an unspecified number of K9 howitzers.