Polish air-defense Patriot systems were deployed from the town of Sochaczew to Babice Airport in the Polish capital of Warsaw.
The transfer of the missiles was “an element of training the troops of the 3rd Warsaw Rocket Air Defense Brigade,” wrote Polish Minister of Defense Mariusz Błaszczak on Twitter.
The Patriot missile platform is an American-made system capable of downing aircraft and missiles at medium range. Poland chose the Patriot system for the “Wisła” medium-range air defense program in April 2015.
The Polish Army acquired two Patriot batteries consisting of 16 launchers. Apart from that, two U.S. Armed Forces Patriot batteries are stationed in Rzeszów in southeastern Poland, and German Patriots also arrived in Poland near the border with Ukraine. At the beginning of February, media reports indicated these missile systems reached combat readiness and are performing guard shifts.
The primary task of the “Wisła” program is to destroy tactical short-range ballistic missiles, including cruise missiles, and guided munitions used by tactical aviation; it also aims to destroy unmanned aerial vehicles.
In October 2022, the Polish Defense Ministry stated that finalizing the process of verification and integration of the “Wisła” program’s elements is expected in the second quarter of 2023. According to the schedule, the readiness of the system will be reached in 2023 when a certifying exercise is completed successfully, preceded by a training and sub-unit integration phase.
In May 2022, Poland’s defense minister signed an offer regarding the procurement of six Patriot batteries, including omnidirectional radars, launchers, and a stockpile of missiles.