Poland orders 2 military observation satellites from France

For many years, relations between Paris and Warsaw were difficult, not to say execrable, the countries having important grievances to assert against the other. After Poland would have preferred the American F-16 C/D to the Mirage 2000-5 proposed by France in 2008 despite a very aggressive offer from Dassault Aviation, which led to the closure of the assembly line of the French aircraft, then the spectacular cancellation of the order for 50 Caracal utility helicopters by Warsaw in 2016, France considerably hardened its relations with Poland, in particular due to the fact that the country systematically favored since the coming to power of President Andrzej Duda and the nationalist Law and Justice party, while at the same time, Warsaw benefited from important European economic subsidies. The Poles, for their part, reproached France, but also Germany, for their positions deemed far too conciliatory vis-à-vis Russia, and the chronic underestimation of Paris and Berlin concerning the threat represented by the modernization of Moscow's armies, while France, traumatized by the attacks of 2013 and 2015, focused its attention on the terrorist threat in the Middle East and Africa.

In fact, for a long time, everything opposed in Europe as on questions of defense, the two countries, whose respective heads of state never failed to tackle the other at the slightest opportunity. If the unprovoked Russian aggression against Ukraine finally gave reason to Polish but also Baltic concerns, it became obvious, over time, for Warsaw as for Tallin, Riga and Vilnius, that it was necessary to reckon with France and its unique defense industry in Europe to support Ukraine as well as to contain the Russian threat. Thus, after Denmark and the Czech Republic, Lithuania ordered from the French Nexter 18 CAESAR guns, which were also very efficient in Ukraine. Poland, for its part, shone with its massive support for Ukraine, the country having delivered several hundred tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, as well as Krab self-propelled artillery systems to Ukrainian forces, and many parts Spare parts for Kyiv's Mig-29s. On the other hand, nothing indicated that Warsaw could change its position vis-à-vis French defense industries, regularly blacklisted in Polish arms competitions.

H225M Caracal Military Alliances | Defense Analysis | Russian-Ukrainian conflict
The cancellation in 2016 of the contract for the local construction of 50 H225M Caracal helicopters for the Polish armed forces had profoundly damaged relations between Paris and Warsaw.

Fact, the announcement made yesterday by Sebastien Lecornu, the French Minister of the Armed Forces visiting Warsaw on his way to Kyiv, and his Polish counterpart Mariusz Błaszczak, had something to surprise even the best informed journalists specializing in Defense. Indeed, the two men announced the order by Warsaw of 2 new military observation satellites which will be produced by Airbus DS, and equipped with an electro-optical precision of 30 cm, as well as a ground control station based in Poland, for an amount of €575 million. This is neither more nor less than the first major Polish order to the French defense industry since that of 50 Caracal helicopters signed in July 2015, then canceled a year later.

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