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DEFENCE I OFFSET

Jarosław Kruk 

THE MODERNIZATION OF THE POLISH ARMED FORCES – THE SITUATION OF REDUCED FUNDING, MILITARY VARIETIES

05/07/2013

Prime Minister Donald Tusk confirmed the information, which a few whispered for weeks about. There are no funds for the massivemodernization of our Armed Forces. There is no money today, but there will be in a few years when we get out of the crisis. Minister of National Defence Tomasz Siemoniak assured that there will be no cuts in army’s spending and military modernization program will be maintained. Besides, our legislation guarantees that 1.95% of the value of gross domestic product is spent on Polish Armed Forces. In addition, the Deputy Minister of Defence Mr. Waldemar Skrzypczak assured that expenditures for modernization experience a slight shift, however all programs will be realized. These statements sound beautiful, as the all promises of politicians. The members of our political class probably manifest willingness to modernize the Armed Forces. In addition there should be an understanding of this need and deliberate, rational action towards its implementation. But if it really is?

Some of our politicians seem to understand that the modernization of the Armed Forces could have beneficial effects for our economy, and what’s more – could be the beginning of an innovative economy. This concept has recently become very popular. The armament industry around the world is at the forefront of technological changes and often stimulates the economy. However, it is not the same in Poland. First of all, the bureaucracy and absurd legal solutions hamper innovation as such. To be innovative, you must enjoy economic freedom, which in our practice is pretty hard. Our state prefer control, punish, restrict, etc. rather  than “expose” on the charge of “improper exercise of law” or loosen.

With this approach ofstate agencieswe are dealing for a long time and it’s just individual Polish entrepreneurship  causes that we arequite well-developing country. Unfortunately, the armamentsindustry is highly associated with the state administration and especially, unfortunately – with its the worst traditions and habits.

Webuild/ rebuild our Navy. The potential contractors were invited to public tender for ships “Czapla”(Heron) and “Miecznik” (Swordfish). Such action should be highly appreciated . The new ships are needed, and these two mentioned, are essential in our geo-strategic position. In my opinion, unquestionably the art. 346 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union might be apply in this case.

In response to the announcement fourteen or even fifteen potential contractors declared their participation. Public officials responsible for the modernization of the Armed Forces are worried aboutannouncementsof management ofMinistry of Defencethat our industry should be one of the beneficiaries of modernization. Polish shipbuilding industry, governed by the state, needs consolidation while nowadays it remains fragmented and the state shipyards compete with each other. While amending the public procurement law in art. 131e paragraph. 5 the ability to realize the defense contract by the company in liquidation was allowed. Clearly, this provision is contrary to the idea of ​​bankruptcy proceedings and is a deviation from the rules on public procurement. Whether it was made under the pressure of Naval Shipyard, which despite being in liquidation since April 2011 is the favorite of all tenders related to ships?

We cannot get out fromdepartmental divisions and create a single shipbuilding entity, specialized in the military production, controlled by the state. It would be enough to allow entities controlled by the Agency of Industrial Developmentto purchasean organized part of an enterprise Naval Shipyard which would enable creation of an entity that could be competitiveand innovative to foreign companies. In such company it would be easy to establish strategies of activity and spheres of influences. Otherwise, everything will end as usual, which means hopelessly…

Traditionally, if circumstances permit, the detail in the following episodes.

It seems very interesting case of submarines. They have to be our deterrent strength which is good idea. In my opinion we should be able to deter enemies. The issue for the General Staff and, unfortunately, politicians, is to clarify the strategic objectives. As far as the legal matters are concerned it appears a difficult issue to evade. Whowill sell us maneuvering missiles with a range of more than 300km or rockets of this magnitude? How will react this whom we would be the aim to deter? All know whom he is. This issue will be extremely difficult, and attempts to solve it – very interesting.

In addition, an interesting question is, who will produce submarines for Poland. It will be probably well-known and specialized German shipyard. Here, new questions arise: when we have them and whether we have money for them?

I bet that in 2022 Poland will have the first deterrent ship. It remains an open question  what are the profits for economy in general and for the rest of us? Polish shipyards do not have the tradition of building submarines and did not have any practice in the production of component for them. I believe that in the coming years, we do not gain this experience. The only solution is to perform other order for the supplier, such as construction ofamphibious assault ship, etc. To become a partner in this type of transaction, you should have concentrated potential. I do not think I’m wrong, that in any European country there is  no possibility to grant the public procurement to entities which are in liquidation. Only an integrated entity that is under the control of the state may be a suitable partner for foreign suppliers and to be innovative.

A few weeks ago on the Polish coast there was a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee of National Defence. Everything seemed great, the messages were positives. Unfortunately, but it will probably be as usual – we will rather not have enough money.

 

 

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