Poland wants to buy five new submarines for its naval fleet by allocating 10 billion zloty ($2.74 billion) for the purchase. Military observer Victor Litovkin, a military observer, shed some light on what’s behind this decision in an interview with Sputnik.
The head of the Ministry of Defense of Poland, Antoni Macierewicz, discussed the purchase of the submarines with the French defense minister during his visit to Paris in September.
According to Sputnik Polska, if Poland purchases the submarines from France it could reduce the tension in relations between the two countries that occurred after the termination of the Caracal Helicopters contract on October 5, 2016.
In addition, the media reported that the Polish Defense Ministry intends to spend 8 billion zloty on 16 combat helicopters (900 million next year, and the remaining 7 billion until 2022). The current price is several times higher than the price of the French Caracal contract was which the Poles had canceled.
Poland and its Ambitions
Victor Litovkin, a military observer for Sputnik Polska, said that the possible purchase of submarines from France is not connected with the cancellation of the Caracal deal. In addition, Poland will most likely buy diesel submarines, which are sold by many countries, for example, France, Germany and Italy.
“The US doesn’t make diesel submarines; they build atomic submarines and those ones Poland cannot afford. In addition, in principle nuclear subs cannot be sold in accordance with the international rules. Therefore, Poland had little choice. Furthermore, the fact that Poland preferred France most likely was agreed with Brussels, NATO and Washington,” Litovkin said.
According to the political observer, the money for the purchase of these submarines was probably given to Poland.
“I do not exclude that this money is what the Poles have earned for placing an American heavy tank brigade, warehouses for another motorized infantry brigade and for deploying the anti-missile defense system that the Americans are building on their territory,” Litovkin said.
Today, Poland does not have any submarines. But according to the political observer Poland has too much ambition to stay without them.
“Poland is a country with big ambitions, which wants to play a leading role in NATO, Europe and the whole world, how can it remain without submarines? That is unthinkable!” he said.
However, receiving submarines is just one stage of the process, as when you do not have submarines, it means that you do not have any technical personnel who can work on these submarines, the observer pointed out.
Antoni Macierewicz’s Statement
Litovkin believes that the Polish defense minister’s statements are not just mere words, but a coordinated decision that has been made with partners in Brussels and Washington. However, it is still early to be sure.
“When the contract is signed, when the first submarine enters the Polish Navy, then it will be possible to consider that this is a real contract. In order to supply five submarines to Poland, the French must first build them. Of course, they can, give the secondhand ones to the Poles. The low price just prompts it. We need to see how it ends,” Litovkin said.