Poland’s state-owned defence consortium PGZ on Wednesday said it had signed a partnership agreement with French naval shipbuilder DCNS, notably to build submarines.
The cooperation marks the first military agreement between the countries since Poland’s shock decision last October to drop a deal with Airbus to buy 50 of its Caracal helicopters for an estimated more than 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion).
“I’m glad that it turns out potential problems in the domain of Polish-French cooperation are purely theoretical,” said PGZ head Arkadiusz Siwko in the statement.
DCNS for its part confirmed to AFP that it had signed an industrial agreement “to see how to cooperate in the domain of Polish naval programmes”.
The partnership could see the two sides work together on submarines, coastal defence ships and minesweeper patrol vessels for Poland, the PGZ statement said.
It “foresees a technology transfer and advanced participation by Poland’s naval industry in realising these projects”, the statement said.
Poland’s Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz last week outlined major defence spending including an anti-missile system, helicopters, submarines and jet fighters, amid concern over NATO and US policy from a new White House.
Warsaw hopes to buy three new submarines “to secure the Polish part of the Baltic” as jitters grow over Russia’s heightened military presence in the region.
Macierewicz also confirmed that Poland is looking at offers from Lockheed Martin, Leonardo/Finmeccanica and Airbus for 16 military helicopters, without specifying the value of the contract.