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Poland agrees to buy US Patriot defense system with Israeli missiles

US soldiers stand in front of a Patriot missile battery at an army base in the northern Polish town of Morag on May 26, 2010
Wojtek Radwanski (AFP)
The Israeli missile apparently has superior performance at 10% of the price of its American competitor

The United States has agreed to sell the Patriot missile defense system to Poland, Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz announced on Thursday. The Ynet news site reports that Poland insisted that the system by configured to use the Israeli missile marketed globally under the name "Skyceptor," due to its superior performance at only 10% of the cost of the American Patriot missile.

"A memorandum was signed tonight that the US government has agreed to sell Poland Patriot missiles in the most modern configuration," Macierewicz said in a press conference, according to the Reuters news agency.

"I am glad that I can pass on this information on the day of President's Trump visit to Warsaw," he said.

Poland will buy eight missile batteries at a cost of $7.6 billion, Ynet reports. The system's main interception missile will be the "Magic Wand" system, also known as "David's Sling," developed and manufactured by Israeli manufacturer, Rafael.

The signing of the full agreement is expected in November.

The Patriot is a mobile air defense system designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, low-flying cruise missiles and aircraft.

The US and Israeli defense establishments have agreed to the Polish demand that the manufacturing of the missiles take place in Poland, Ynet reports. So that the country has an operational system within a shorter timeframe, Poland will acquire a small number of American interceptors until the plant becomes fully operational.

Rafael is expected to make around $1 billion from the $8 billion agreement - one of the largest deals the company has ever made.

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