The U.S. Congress has approved the sale of 800 Hellfire missiles to Poland, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak announced on Saturday.
In a social media post, Błaszczak revealed both the AW149 and Apache support helicopters will be equipped with the missiles, and the two countries will soon begin to negotiate the finer details of the agreement.
“We are starting negotiations on pricing,” Błaszczak added.
In mid-March, the U.S. State Department approved the sale of 800 AGM-114R2 Hellfire missiles to Poland for an estimated $150 million, as reported by the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).
The package requested by Poland includes 800 Hellfire missiles, four training missiles, and technical support. The proposed sale aims to modernize the Polish military’s capabilities while increasing interoperability with the United States and other allies.
The AGM-114R2 is one of the newer laser-guided, precise anti-tank variants of the Hellfire missile. They are typically used by AH-64 Apache helicopters and MQ-9 Reaper drones. Poland has ordered both systems.
By the end of 2023, the first AW149 helicopters produced by PZL Świdnik, part of the Italian Leonardo group, will be delivered to the 25th Air Cavalry Brigade. Equipped with Hellfire missiles, these helicopters will transport soldiers and provide air support; they will also be used for evacuation and search and rescue operations.
In early July 2022, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak signed a contract for the delivery of 32 helicopters at the PZL Świdnik facilities, where the helicopters are manufactured.
The contract is worth over €1.75 billion (8.2 billion zloty). The AW149, along with the logistics package, is to be delivered from 2023 to 2029 in a configuration that meets the needs of the Polish Armed Forces.