WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland hopes to finalize a multimillion deal with U.S. company Lockheed Martin Corp. by November that includes cruise missiles for its F-16 fighter jets, the Polish defense minister said Tuesday.
The plan comes as Poland intensifies efforts to modernize its military given the Russian aggression in Ukraine, something that has added to feelings of insecurity in Eastern Europe.
Tomasz Siemoniak said the missiles are "one of the most modern weapons in the world at the moment. We really want to have them."
The U.S. State Department said last week that it has approved the $500 deal for 40 air-to-surface missiles and related training and logistical support. It now awaits approval by the U.S. Congress.
"The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and the national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally," the U.S. government said last week.
Siemoniak said he hopes the deal can be finalized in October or November. It would then take up to two years for the missiles to be delivered.