Poland said Monday it had shortlisted US manufacturer Raytheon and French-led consortium Eurosam as bidders for a contract to build its air defence system, which local media say is worth $7.9 billion.

The defence ministry said in a statement it had rejected offers from the Israeli government and the MEADS consortium lead by US firm Lockheed Martin.

It added that Poland’s defence group PHO would partner up with the winning bidder, to be announced by the end of the year.

The Eurosam consortium is made up of French group Thales and the European defence firm MBDA.

Local media said the contract could be valued at 24 billion zloty (5.8 billion euros, $7.9 billion) across 10 years.

The central European NATO member has sped up plans to upgrade its military since the crisis erupted in neighbouring Ukraine.

It plans to devote 140 billion zloty to the upgrade over a decade.

Unlike other European countries, Poland has kept its defence budget constant throughout the global financial crisis.

According to law, it is fixed at 1.95 percent of gross domestic product, which this year equals 32 billion zloty.