Polityka Insight: The French withdraw support for the Orka programme. Paris blocks the sale of cruise missiles.

Marek Świerczyński, editor of Polityka magazine and security expert in an article in Polityka Insight (on 3 December) shares the sensational information that the French government agency DGA (Direction générale de l’Armament) has supsended support for the Naval Group shipyard in regard to selling Poland MdCN missiles. These missiles were meant to be the deterrent weapon carried by the Scorpenes, which the French have thus far been offering to Poland in the Orka program.

“Since the sale of missiles is not possible without government support, and they were accompanied by proposals for the joint construction of Scorpène submarines, it should be recognized that the French offer in the Orka programme has collapsed,” reads the Polityka Insight article. According to Świerczyński, this decision is an expression of “the deterioration of Paris-Warsaw political relations and the loss of confidence on the part of the French after the cancellation of the orders for multi-task helicopters, the sidelining of France from the missile armaments segment and the prolonged lack of decisions regarding submarines”.

The French Naval Group was the only bidder capable of delivering submarines along with cruise missiles. It is not surprising, therefore, that the requirement to equip Orka with such missiles was the core of the French offer for Poland. In the media, the French argued that the purchase of Scorpène with MdCN missiles would give Poland access to the  weapons with strategic deterrence potential. They also tempted Poland with the vision of joining the an elite club of cruise missile users,  alongside such powers  as the United States, Great Britain and France.

 Even in July 2018, the CEO of Naval Group, in an interview with daily Rzeczpospolita, said: “First of all, the offer assumes the supply of new-generation Scorpene submarines, armed with cruise missiles with a range of one thousand kilometers. No one else can offer this. This is an exclusive proposal, with full support from the French government. ” This could have had an impact on the imagination of Polish decision makers, but at the same time lulled them into overlooking such sensitive issues as the known tactical and technical weaknesses of the Scorpenes, or the lack of reliable data on the range and actual operational capabilities of the MdCN rocket, which has never been fired before from a submarine. Therefore, Poland might have become a training ground for the new French weapons, but this latest decision from Paris has saved the Polish taxpayer from bearing the consequences of the possible imperfections of the weapon on offer.

This sensational information from Świerczyński coincided with another event that could support his thesis about the deterioration of relations in the relations between Warsaw and Paris

Dit is een vertaling van het orginele artikel van portalstoczniowy.pl