Defence to Poland
Trends and opportunities
The Polish defence forces are undergoing the most ambitious modernisation program in the country’s history. The biggest impact in this sector is on the country’s Technical Modernisation Program. Geo-political pressures on the eastern and southern flanks of Europe and a need to improve interoperability to support its participation in the international operations with NATO, UN and the European Union are driving government spending in the defence sector.
Since 2001 Poland’s military expenditure has been consistent at 1.95 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). As a result of Poland’s continual economic growth (more than 20 per cent growth since 2008) its defence expenditure in absolute terms has continued to grow strongly.
Adopted by the Council of Ministers in 2016, the Strategy for Responsible Development assumes an increase in Polish defence spending by more than two per cent of GDP. The defence industry, both state and private, plays a vital role. For 2019 the government plans to spend A$16.5 billion on defence and regular expenditure around $17 billion per annum is expected in the years to come.
Poland’s defence procurement program is comprehensive and covers air, land and sea force modernisation. The focus is on anti-missile defence systems, cyber security, investment in navy (including acquisition of submarines, purchase of utility and attack helicopters) build-up of the territorial defence and enhancement of the command system and structure. Poland is looking for new technologies to enhance its deterrence capability and to advance the local defence industry.
The Polish Government has consolidated the sector by creating a state-owned holding company - Polish Armaments Group (PGZ) - which includes over 60 companies. The group has equity capital of PLN 5.3 billion (A$1.8 billion) and 17,500 employees.
Market drivers include:
- Comprehensive A$45 billion defence modernisation program
- Geopolitical pressure to improve the efficiency and performance of defence forces
- Modernisation and capability improvement of the defence industry
- The need to implement technologically advanced solutions
- Desire to increase industry export capability.
The modernisation program covers air, land and sea force modernisation. Main areas of opportunity include:
- air defence systems
- unmanned air vehicles (UAV)
- systems to address naval threats
- integrated command systems and battlefield imaging systems
- armored transportation carriers
- cyber security
- space technology
- equipment and weaponry for soldiers.
Market entry strategies
The majority of defence companies in Poland are state owned and consolidated under the umbrella of the PGZ holding company. PGZ is viewed as strategic partner of the Ministry of Defence and as such cooperation with PGZ companies is advantageous.
Maximising Polish content in defence contracts is a requirement. Australian firms seeking to tender defence work need to consider partnering/working with local Polish companies and/or establishing a manufacturing and services presence in Poland.
The Polish Government is required by law to hold tenders for major procurements, though there is a national security exception. Financial value, project complexity, international cooperation, and political sensitivity determine the project category.
Offset commitments need to accompany any major military programs deemed as of essential interest to Poland’s security. Offset conditions need to be agreed with the Ministry of Defence.
Austrade can provide information on market opportunities and identify local partners to assist Australian companies to enter the Polish market.
The largest annual event for the defence industry in Central Europe is MSPO in Kielce, southeast Poland, held the first week of September each year. Last year’s event featured most of the leading defence companies – over 600 exhibitors from 30 countries and attracted over 22 thousand visitors from 58 countries.
BALT-EXPO - International Maritime Exhibition, held biannually in Gdansk (north Poland)
BALT-MILITARY-EXPO International Fair for Navy, Border Guards and Police held biannually in Gdansk (north Poland).
Links and industry contacts
Institute of Aviation
Ministry of National Defence Republic of Poland
Polish Armament Group
Polish Chamber of Defense Industry
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