This is a fiasco.
The Israeli ministry of defence is trying to find a way to allow Israeli companies to supply at least part of expected Polish requirements for unmanned air systems.
Earlier this year the MoD withdrew export permits to Poland held by two major Israeli UAS manufacturers – Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems.
The decision was taken after a fight between the two Israeli firms that resulted in the resignation of Poland’s deputy minister of defence, Gen Waldemar Skrzypczak.
The Polish press says he was forced to resign for internal reasons, but the competition between Elbit and IAI for the sale of UAS to the Polish army – which got out of control – was a contributing factor.
The MoD announced that business in Poland will be conducted until further notice on the basis of “government to government” contracts.
This has not solved the problem, however, and as the release of the Polish operational requirements approaches, efforts are being made to find a solution.
“The situation now is that only a creative way may bring Israeli companies back to the Polish market,” an Israeli source says.
The source did not elaborate, but says as Poland wants to use the expected tenders to establish a local UAS industry, the solution may come in the form of a co-operation agreement between an Israeli company and a foreign company from Europe or the USA that will serve as a front.
Until a few months ago the Polish market looked very promising for the Israeli defence industry. Now, however, the prospects seem much less positive.