Ministry result

The Polish Ministry of Defense decides to acquire French IMINT satellites

Photo. Polish Ministry of Defense

The head of the Polish Ministry of Defense, Mariusz Błaszczak, announced on March 23, via his social networks, that Poland will soon strengthen its reconnaissance capabilities – with new IMINT satellite assets. The Head of the MoD said that within the next 6 months an agreement will be signed regarding 2 EO satellites. Said contract must involve unspecified French partners.

Mariusz Błaszczak said that an agreement would be reached soon, which would result in the strengthening of state reconnaissance capabilities, thanks to two EO satellites. These must belong to a larger IMINT constellation, probably taking into account the smaller assets developed in Poland currently, with the participation of Polish R&D potential and the national space industry. The information was also released through the official channels of the Polish Ministry of Defence.

Although no details have been released, regarding the satellite reconnaissance profile, the most likely scenario would involve the acquisition of EO optoelectronic satellites with higher spatial resolution – this was planned as part of the assumptions of the Government resolution on the Polish Space Strategy developed in January 2017.

The Polish Ministry of Defense has been announcing for some time that it is interested in providing access for the Polish Armed Forces to its satellites. In February 2019, Deputy Defense Minister Wojciech Skurkiewicz admitted at the Senate Defense Committee assembly that Poland was seeking to access intelligence as such jointly with allies. At the same time, he noted that this area is partially confidential. Satellite observation systems make it possible to monitor areas of interest on a global scale, without entering the airspace of other nations, which allows the collection of information relevant to national defense and security.

In parallel, the Polish Ministry of Defense and the National Center for Research and Development are working on national EO satellites, mainly through the PIAST (Polish ImAging SaTellites) project – under the SZAFIR development program. The underlying hypothesis is to exploit the potential created by the cooperation between research organizations and private companies, within the framework of the development of key solutions for security and defence. In line with the statements made, particular emphasis is placed here on recognized national technology gaps.