Polish Armed Forces received the first unit of a short-range anti-aircraft system as part of the “Small Narew” project on Tuesday.
The launcher, equipped with CAMM missiles, was received by the 18th Anti-Aircraft Regiment, which is part of the 18th Mechanized Division, known as the “Iron Division.”
The launcher was donated by the Polish Minister of Defense Mariusz Błaszczak and U.K. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace during the ceremony in Zamość, eastern Poland.
Minister Błaszczak said that this ceremony finalized the next stage of Polish-British military cooperation. He stressed that Poland is drawing conclusions from the Ukraine war. “We know what kind of methods are used by Russians, who are attacking Ukraine. We know how the resilience of the Ukrainian forces is built, and we are certain that anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense is an important part of security. That is why we began the process of cooperating with the U.K.,” Błaszczak said.
Poland’s defense minister said that thanks to U.K. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace’s decision last year, British troops helped Poland on the Polish-Belarusian border during the hybrid attack carried out by Alexander Lukashenko’s regime.
“Apart from the Sky Sabre system deployed on Polish territory, there are also U.K.’s armored troops,” said Błaszczak, adding that he observed joint Polish-British-U.S. exercises in Poland.
British troops, equipped with Challenger tanks, exercised along with Polish and U.S. troops, proving that NATO forces are capable of providing security on the entire eastern flank,” said Błaszczak.
U.K. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said that the main conclusion from the Ukraine war was that land armored forces are irrelevant, no matter what their size is, without well-developed anti-aircraft defense systems due to the danger posed by aircraft and drones.
“That is why Poland and Great Britain are investing in next-generation solutions at the same time,” explained Wallace.
The “Small Narew” short-range anti-aircraft system includes a SOŁA mobile radio-location station; ZENIT weapon control system; three iLauncher systems on a chassis made by Polish company Jelcz; British CAMM missiles; and two logistic vehicles using Jelcz’s chassis.
“Small Narew” systems training, logistics, and service packages were also contracted.