Poland Signs $1 Billion Deal with U.S. for Advanced Aerostat Radar Systems

Poland’s Ministry of National Defense announced a significant deal to purchase four aerostat-based early warning radar systems from the United States, valued at nearly $1 billion. Kosiniak-Kamysz stated that “Poland will be the second country in the world to use such a system” and “These aerostats will be funded by a loan from the United States”.

The U.S. Army uses aerostats under its Persistent Surveillance System. Photo from Lockheed Martin

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Poland has intensified efforts to enhance its military capabilities. The new aerostats will be deployed to military bases in eastern and northeastern Poland, near the borders with Belarus and Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad.

According to the ministry, these systems can detect various objects, including missiles, aircraft, drones, and maritime units. The U.S. Department of State approved the foreign military sale in February 2024, with subsequent authorization by Congress.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency indicated that key contractors include Raytheon Intelligence and Space, TCOM, ELTA North America, and QinetiQ’s subsidiary Avantus Federal. The contract encompasses airspace and surface radar reconnaissance aerostat systems, airborne early warning radars, and related logistics. In 2021, TCOM secured a $450 million contract to supply Saudi Arabia with sensor-laden aerostats for communications and intelligence.