NATO is stepping up its defensive measures in Eastern, Central and Southeastern Europe. The Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) is involved in air defense, among other things, and from January 2023 also in Poland. By providing air defense forces in Poland, Germany will in future expand its contribution to solidarity with the Eastern European NATO allies. Soldiers of the Bundeswehr will use the MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) system to help protect Polish airspace and strengthen NATO’s integrated air defense on the eastern flank. The rocket impact in the Polish village of Przewodów on November 15, 2022 made it clear how quickly the Russian war of aggression can have an impact on the NATO alliance area and especially on Germany’s eastern allies.
Due to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, in violation of international law, NATO has decided to step up its defensive measures in Eastern, Central and South-Eastern Europe. For this purpose, alliance defense capabilities were increased as part of the NATO Enhanced Vigilance Activities program Vigilance, or eVA Enhanced Activities for short. The Bundeswehr is already taking part in such a mission in Slovakia with air defense forces and combat troops. The Bundeswehr’s air defense system is integrated into the structure of the Polish air defense system, which in turn is an integral part of the integrated NATO air defense system designed to protect alliance territory.
Through the deployment of an Air and Missile Defense Task Force in Poland, the Bundeswehr on site, as a reliable alliance partner, is quickly and flexibly strengthening the security of Polish airspace and making an important contribution to integrated NATO air defense on the eastern flank. For this purpose, four squadrons, three of which are combat squadrons and one staff and supply squadron, are stationed in Zamo?? in eastern Poland, not far from the Ukrainian border. The strength of the German unit, including all support forces, is around 350 soldiers. If necessary, the number of personnel deployed can be expanded to up to 650 soldiers. In response, Germany immediately offered Poland, which is particularly exposed due to its common border with Ukraine, support on a bilateral basis in air defense.
The MIM-104 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, the primary such system used by the United States Army and several allied states. It is manufactured by the U.S. defense contractor Raytheon and derives its name from the radar component of the weapon system. The AN/MPQ-53 at the heart of the system is known as the “Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target”, which is a backronym for “Patriot”. German Air Force Flugabwehrraketengeschwader 1 (Air Defence Missile Wing 1) utilises the Patriot air defense missile weapon system to engage in anti-aircraft warfare against aircraft and ballistic missiles. On 5 January 2023, Germany announced that it would supply one Patriot battery to Ukraine. On 17 January 2023, it was reported that the Netherlands intended to send a Patriot battery, in tandem with Germany and the United States.
Heute stellte das Kontingent der #eVA Air and Missile Defence Task Force in Polen die initiale Einsatzbereitschaft her. Die Patriot-Kampfstaffeln der #BundeswehrimEinsatz sichern rund um die Uhr den polnischen Luftraum der #NATO-Ostflanke in Zamo??. Mehr: https://t.co/LDYiSeoeAv pic.twitter.com/qvNJEgM3Yy
— Bundeswehr im Einsatz (@Bw_Einsatz) February 1, 2023