Poland 'ceases to exist as independent state' says TV host
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The move comes as a clear and defiant warning to Moscow that neighbouring states are stepping up their military capabilities following the invasion of Ukraine. NATO forces have upped their capability and presence in the region, with both Sweden and Finland applying to join the alliance, as well as ongoing appeals by Ukraine to join also.
Speaking of the huge procurement, former British Army officer and defence industry analyst Nicholas Drummond suggested Warsaw was fully committed to backing Kyiv in the crisis.
Taking to Twitter he wrote: “If Poland had requested 50 or 100 HIMARs, I would have been impressed.
“But Poland wants 500!! Poland is serious about fighting the Deep Battle and understands the importance of artillery.
“What this really tells us is that Poland has no intention of letting Ukraine lose this war.”
Poland has vocally supported Ukraine becoming a member of NATO, however, current members are sceptical over the notion as the country has not been able to demonstrate border integrity, hence raising fears of a wider conflict between the alliance and Russia.
The move to acquire the HIMAR missile system suggests Poland is planning for deep territory capabilities against Russia.
The maximum firing range for precision strikes on such weapons can reach 190 miles (300km).
The 16-tonne equipment can easily be transported by C-130 Hercules aircraft and can be deployed easily once on the ground.
At a cost of £4.4million per unit, the total price will cost as much as £2billion.
The equipment would be beneficial in deterring any attack from Russia according to one defence specialist website.
Defence24.com said: “The system may be used to paralyze any offensive action planned or executed against Poland, and this may be done in multiple ways.
“The first would involve attacking the attacker’s assets and support means, such as logistics or IADS, deep beyond the frontline, long before the enemy even makes contact.
“This may make it possible to partially eliminate the quantitative advantage the potential adversary may have.
“The second purpose of such a system would be to act against the enemy’s long-range artillery assets.”
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The equipment is also capable of destroying Russian aerial assets such as helicopters, aircraft and runways.
These elements provide both an offensive and deterrent impact amid speculation the conflict in Ukraine could spill over into mainland Europe.
Speaking of the acquirement, Brigadier General Jaroslaw Wierzcholski said: “Usually it’s the supervisor that should support the subordinate, not the other way round.
“This is why the operational level commander, above the division level, shall have a potential of his own, to attack targets at a long distance.
“This is related to the Homar programme.
“The capabilities as such, alongside the WR-40 Langusta MLRS system, or the 155 mm Krab howitzers, should be placed at the operational level.”
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With the war in Ukraine now entering its fourth month, Russian forces have moved east towards the Donbas region in an attempt to create a land bridge to Crimea, and take control of eastern Ukraine.
Latest reports suggest Russian forces have entered the key city of Severodonetsk and are moving into the centre of the town.
So far, up to 10 million Ukrainians have been displaced by the war, with around 6 million leaving the nation, many of whom have headed to Poland seeking refuge.
Across the NATO family, support remains strong for Ukraine, with Spain suggesting the backing of Ukraine remains “unbreakable.”
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said: “Supporting Ukraine with determination is the only way to ensure that the Europe and the world we have built has a certain future.”
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