WARSAW, Poland — The Polish Ministry of National Defence has signed a deal to buy Lockheed Martin-made JASSM-ER cruise missiles under a deal worth some $735 million, officials said this week.

The ministry said the contract is connected to Poland’s recent purchase of four aerostat-based early warning radar systems from the United States for $1 billion as well as its acquisition of F-35 combat jets, also made by Lockheed.

“The war in Ukraine has shown how important it is to be able to hit targets located even very far from the front line, and the range of the missiles that will be acquired is about 1,000 km,” the ministry said in a May 28 statement. “This complements the Barbara aerostat system whose acquisition was contracted last week. What will be detected by the aerostats, among others, will be able to be hit by JASSM-ER air-to-ground missiles.”

Polish Deputy Prime Minister and National Defence Minister Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz said that the order of “several hundred missiles” is expected to arrive over five years starting in 2026.

The latest developments come as Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk is advancing a new initiative, dubbed the East Shield, designed to enhance Poland’s deterrence and defense capacities along the country’s borders with Russia and Belarus. Warsaw has intensified its military modernization efforts in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of its neighbor Ukraine in February 2022.

“We’re embarking on a major project to build a secure border, including a system of fortifications,” Tusk said on May 18, as quoted in a statement released by his office. “We’ll make the Polish border secure in peacetime and impassable for the enemy in wartime.”

Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.

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