UK deploys fighter jets in Poland, allocates billions to AUKUS program
The UK has awarded a $4.9 billion contract to BAE Systems as part of its efforts with Australia and the United States to build nuclear-powered submarines that will roam the Indo-Pacific region.
The United Kingdom will deploy a number of its Eurofighter Typhoon jets in Poland, responding to the latter's requests alleging threats from Russia, Britain's Minister of Defense, Grant Shapps, said on Sunday.
"In response to requests from our Polish friends, RAF [Royal Air Force] Typhoons are landing in Poland as I speak to support our NATO ally amid the growing threat of Russia interference," Shapps stated during an annual UK Conservative party conference.
NATO and the US in particular are building a military powerhouse in Poland, which further escalates tensions between the West and Russia. The transfer of British Typhoons to Poland follows a landmark deal with Lockheed Martin, securing 486 launcher-loader kits for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).
This marks the beginning of a new framework agreement that promised to fortify Poland's military infrastructure.
The framework agreement sets out ambitious plans for Poland, with the assembly of 486 Homar-A vehicles slated to commence within the country's borders. Initial deliveries are scheduled to kick off in 2026.
Poland claims that it is facing threats from Russia and Belarus, while it continues to support Ukraine regardless of continued tensions rising from a hit on Polish interests due to an inflow of Kiev's sub-par grain.
US, UK face-off with China in the Indo-Pacific
During the conference, the British Minister also said the UK has awarded BAE Systems a 4 billion pound ($4.9 billion) contract as part of the AUKUS program aimed at building attack submarines.
The effort, which includes the United States, the UK, and Australia aims to provide Canberra with nuclear-powered submarines from the early 2030s as the West pursues its attempts to hinder China's progression in the Indo-Pacific.
On its part, the British multinational arms manufacturer said it was awarded a 3.95 billion pound funding from the UK's Ministry of Defense to cover development work until 2028, which will allow it to start detailed design work on the submarines.
"This multi-billion-pound investment in the AUKUS submarine programme will help deliver the long term hunter-killer submarine capabilities the UK needs," Shapps stated.
BAE Systems revealed that the manufacturing of the submarines would begin toward the end of the current decade, as it expects the first SSN-AUKUS vessel to be delivered in the late 2030s.