Archive for category Poland
Poland recently bought more Israeli drones, from Aeronautics Ltd, rather than Elbit Systems or Israeli Aerospace.
Poland purchased 2 ‘Aerostar’ systems, comprising 8 drones. Aeronautics has sold the Aerostar to 15 customers, including the IDF, the US, Netherlands, and Turkey.
To read a highly critical analysis of Aeronautics, read this SUAS article.
Poland’s trade with Israel is rapidly expanding, rising in the order of 20% a year over the last few years. Poland has a trade deficit with Israel of $134 million in 2007-2008, and imports from Israel are rising much faster than exports to Israel.
Apparently, at least part of Israel’s investment in Poland is simply American investment managed by Israeli companies, who have better infrastructure and understanding for investing in Poland.
Outline of Israeli arms sales to Poland, and military cooperation.
Israeli company Rafael to invest 423.6 million dollars in Poland over ten years
More Israel-Polish cooperation
Poland to consider buying Israeli drones
Israel and Poland have a long standing arms trading association. Not only are there direct arms sales by Israel to Poland, but Israeli companies have invested in building arms manufacturing facilities in Poland.
Israeli arms manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has agreed to invest $423 million in Poland to build amaments in Poland, specifically the Spike anti tank missile. Poland would also like to purchase Israeli drone technology and have the drones built in Poland.
Aeronautics, a Yavnah based Israeli company, is supplying the Polish army with drones.
Poland is purchasing border security technology from companies including Israel’s Elbit Security systems, for 2.3 million Euros.
Haaretz reports that Poland’s GROM special operations forces cooperates with several Israeli secret police and anti terrorist units. Polish airmen might also train in Israel for flying older F-16 fighters purchased from the US. Regarding close security and military ties between Israel and Poland, former Polish ambassador to Israel is said to have stated: “We don’t talk in public about those things. We just do them.”
Israel and Poland have had an arms trading relationship from the first days after Poland emerged from the Communist bloc and turned to the US and Nato as allies. Indeed, several members of the party that evolved from the Polish Communist party were involved in a scandal involving arms purchases from an Israeli company.
Poland and Israel have many special ties, some involving the location in Poland of extermination camps like Auschwitz. As well, Poland facilitated the departure from the former Solviet Union of Russian Jews destined for Israel. Many Israelis have a Polish background. The two countries have exchanged many visits of presidents and ministers of foreign affairs.
After being invited to join NATO in 1989, Poland has become an enthusiastic NATO member, sending troops to Afghanistan in the original deployment, and preparing to send additional troops in 2009 to combat the worsening situation to NATO occupying forces.
Part of the prepartion Poland has undertaken to join NATO has been to create interoperability with NATO technology and operating procedures. This has meant that Poland has purchased a large amount of new arms from NATO compatible arms companies, like those in the US and Israel.
In September, 2008, Polish Defence Minister Bogdan Klich announced that Poland planned to spend $25 Billion over the next ten years to modernise Poland’s military. Sizeable chunks of this funding would go to buy American made missiles. Some would be used to protect American missiles to be stationed in Poland under a US-Poland agreement signed in August, 2008. Poland is rumoured to have demanded that the Americans supply Poland with Patriot Missiles in return for Americans placing interceptor missiles on Polish soil.
Poland, like other new members to NATO, has committed to increasing defence spending. Much of this spending will go to the US. But a sizeable chunk will go to Israel, and the domestic armaments industry, which is sometimes just a manufacturing facility for Israeli designed military equipment.
Dan Williams, writing in Reuters Alertnet, hinted at one of the possible reasons why Israel is prepared to attack its adversaries with such force.
(Israel is one of the top ten arms companies in the world by sales. Arms sales are extremely important to Israel’s balance of payments and provides employment to thousands of Israelis. Furthermore the Israeli political elite, top soldiers and arms company traders and executives are in a revolving door relationship–ed)
In 2006, Israel sold $4 billion in arms, accounting for 10% of arms sales in the world, and in fourth place behind the US, Russia, and France.
The sale of weapons depends very strongly on the perception that these weapons are effective.
“Defense News quoted Israeli security experts as attributing many of the new contracts to Israel’s perceived successes in battling Palestinian militants in the West Bank and Gaza Strip” Quoting Rachel Naidek Ashkenazi, spokesperson for the Israeli Ministry of Defense, from the Defense News article: “We expect the pattern of increased sales to continue, unaffected by the recent campaign in Lebanon. Clients are prudent. They know they can trust battle-proven experience, and they go to the trouble of finding out the facts.”
So, are arms companies in Israel, and their friends in government and the IDF, cynically attacking Palestinians in order to bolster their international arms sales? Is it part of the equation? Clearly the spokes person for the Israeli Ministry of Defense thinks so.
It was predicted that Israeli arms sales would go down after its attacks on Lebanon and the Gaza strip, but in fact arms sales have remained steady or increased, showing that many governments cynically claim to abhor the human rights abuses of the Israeli government while standing in line to buy their battle proven armaments.