The United Kingdom will deploy its Sky Sabre missile defence system in Poland, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced in Warsaw on Thursday. The Sky Sabre can target fighter jets or incoming smart bombs and will be operated by British troops.
The aim is to help Poland protect its airspace against potential Russian aggression, as the country bears “much of the burden of the consequences of the war in Ukraine”, Wallace said. The Sky Sabre will be accompanied by 100 British troops to operate the defence system.
A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the missile system was being deployed after a request from the Polish government. “It is, as ever, a purely defensive capability which we are providing on a bilateral basis to Poland,” the spokesperson said.
Wallace announced that Poland wants to develop the same system in cooperation with Great Britain. Britain has previously said that the ground-based air defence system is capable of hitting a tennis ball-sized object travelling at the speed of sound.
The deployment will increase NATO’s presence bordering Russia as its eastern flank is being beefed up in view of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.