The Polish Defense Ministry made a deal this past December with the US's Lockheed Martin to acquire at least 40 AGM-158 semi-stealth air-to-surface missiles with a range of 370 km for its F-16 fighter fleet. This, combined with plans to develop a 300 km range surface-to-surface rocket artillery system known as HOMAR with technology licensed from Lockheed Martin, plus plans to purchase a submarine-launched system of maneuverable rockets with a range of up to 800 km, will provide Poland with what political scientist Pawel Soroka calls a "Polish deterrent triad."
Speaking with Poland's Newseria news agency on Sunday, Soroka noted that the defense program would dramatically improve Poland's independent military capability. "NATO has a system of deterrence, at the head of which is the US. I think that on the one hand, we must be included into NATO's system of deterrence as an ally, but on the other hand, we must also have autonomous capabilities." Soroka noted that the system would increase Poland's options for independent action in times of crisis.
The air, ground and ship-based conventional missile systems are part of a $42.4 billion military modernization program up to 2022 dubbed "Polish Claws" by Prime Minister Donald Tusk, which includes a $9 billion air and missile defense system known as "Polish Shield".
Amidst rising tensions on its eastern European borders and ever-increasing NATO encroachment, Russia's new military doctrine, adopted late last year, singles out NATO as a main strategic threat to the country's security. The new doctrine has seen with it the speeding up of the country's 2020 military modernization program, with new and modernized equipment entering service into all four branches of military. In 2014 alone, the army received two new brigades of Iskander M-based tactical rocket systems, while three new rocket forces regiments were outfitted with the RS-24 Yars ICBM.