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Tusk: Poland signs contract with European Investment Bank to join Sky Shield Initiative

by Kateryna Hodunova May 20, 2024 9:06 PM 2 min read
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk speaks at a press conference with Latvian Prime Minister Evika Silina in Warsaw, Feb. 29. (Attila Husejnow/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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The Polish government signed a contract with the European Investment Bank (EIB) worth 300 million euros (around $326 million) to construct its part of the pan-European air defense, according to Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

Tusk said in April that Poland is interested in joining the European Sky Shield Initiative, which currently includes 21 countries. The initiative aims to create an Iron Dome-style air defense system covering several European NATO member states.

On May 20, Tusk announced that "in a few days," he and other European prime ministers would present the project of building an Iron Dome over Europe, adding that "the idea of pan-European air defense" is not a dream, but "a practical plan."

The loan from the EIB will cover the development of the satellite and reconnaissance systems, an essential part of the project, according to the Polish prime minister.

"We will take advantage of these European opportunities because (...) Europe's security depends largely on Poland's security," Tusk said.

Skynex: The German drone destroyer reinforcing Ukraine’s air defense
Ukraine has just received the second Skynex air defense system from Germany as part of the latest package of military aid, the German government announced on April 29. It’s the latest addition to Ukraine’s struggling air defenses, running low on ammunition due to delays in U.S. aid but bolstered

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was the first to propose Iron Dome construction over Europe in August 2022.

The proposal was made amid intensified Russian attacks against Ukraine and increased concerns about European limited capabilities of air defense.

In December 2022, Scholz expressed hope that the initiative would be developed in the next five years.

The European Sky Shield Initiative is expected to use medium-range IRIS-T, long-range Patriot, and exoatmospheric Arrow 3 anti-ballistic systems.

Iron Dome is an air defense system initially designed by Israel. The system can operate under adverse weather conditions and respond to multiple threats simultaneously.

It can also intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells launched from 4 to 70 kilometers (nearly 3 to 44 miles) away.

Zelensky: Ukraine only has 25% of needed air defense capabilities
Ukraine only has 25% of the air defense capabilities it needs to adequately repel Russian attacks, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with AFP on May 17.
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