Poland is set to receive the first batch of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) from the United States this year, according to the country’s defence minister. The HIMARS will be stationed in the town of Orzysz in the northeastern region, as Poland strengthens its defence capability amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
The Polish defence minister, Mariusz Błaszczak, emphasised the significance of the Warmińsko-Mazurskie province, which shares a border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. In an interview with Gazeta Olsztyńska, Błaszczak said, “We are strengthening the Polish army across the country, but especially in the east. We are also taking steps to particularly boost the forces stationed in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie region, as well.”
Błaszczak revealed that the 16th Mechanised Division, which is headquartered in Olsztyn, is being expanded, and a new unit will be created in the town of Olecko. The unit will have South Korean K9 gun howitzers, Polish Krab gun howitzers, and other artillery systems at its disposal.
The defence minister also announced that the HIMARS launchers, which are capable of hitting targets up to 300 kilometres away, will arrive in Orzysz this year. The HIMARS systems, which Poland ordered from the US in 2019, have been performing effectively in Ukraine, according to Błaszczak.
Poland signed a deal to purchase 20 HIMARS artillery rocket systems from America for USD 414 million in February 2019. Last month, Błaszczak confirmed that the US Congress had cleared the sale of nearly 500 HIMARS artillery rocket systems to Poland, and the contract will be finalised soon.
Poland has been increasing its defence spending in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Officials have announced plans to raise defence spending to 4% of GDP this year.
In summary, Poland is taking steps to strengthen its defence capabilities amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The first batch of HIMARS systems, capable of hitting targets up to 300 kilometres away, will be stationed in the northeastern town of Orzysz. Poland is also expanding the 16th Mechanised Division and creating a new unit in the town of Olecko. The country’s defence spending is set to increase to 4% of GDP this year, as officials respond to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.