Poland on Monday narrowed the field for a lucrative missile-defense contract, short-listing bids from Raytheon and a French-led consortium.
The Polish defense ministry announced it was taking out of consideration bids offered by Israel and a Lockheed Martin-led consortium, Reuters reported. Warsaw said it had altered its contract requirements to demand technology that was already fully operational and deployed by NATO member states' militaries. Those criteria eliminated Israel's David Sling, which is not yet deployed, and Lockheed Martin's Medium Extended Air Defense System, which is not yet fully developed.
Raytheon is offering for sale its Patriot antimissile system, which is already used by the United States, Germany and the Netherlands.
Poland revised its tender in the wake of Russia's incursion into Ukraine, emphasizing technology that is immediately deployable over more advanced systems that may require more development. Warsaw wants to construct a national missile defense system capable of defeating medium-range ballistic missiles launched from just outside its borders. The contract is projected to be worth roughly $5 billion.
Meanwhile, Turkey is giving foreign defense firms two more months to sweeten their proposals for selling a missile defense system to the country, the Hurriyet Daily News reported on Monday.
An anonymous Turkish official told the newspaper that companies were now being given until Aug. 30 to submit their bids -- time enough for Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Eurosam to improve their respective proposals. Ankara has twice before extended its deadline for companies to modify their antimissile bids.
Turkey last year announced it had selected a bid from a Chinese state-controlled firm to purchase its FD-2000 antimissile system. Ankara, though, has yet to finalize any contract with the Chinese company amid warnings from NATO that the Chinese technology would be incompatible with the alliance's evolving missile shield.
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