Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Defense contractor Northrop Grumman has opened an office in Poland, the first foreign customer of its air and missile command-and-control system.
The 12,000-square-foot office, opened last week, is expected to allow the company to provide better service on what it sees as a major partnership, as well as to work more closely with potential clients in Europe.
"Poland will be the first allied nation to acquire the IBCS [Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System] and will field it nearly concurrently with the U.S. Army, meaning Poland will get the latest technology and innovative product," U.S. Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in downtown Warsaw.
The IBCS system offers a single, unambiguous view of a selected battlespace and offers significantly enhanced aircraft and missile tracking, Northrop Grumman said in a statement.
In March, the company received a $713 million U.S. Army contract for the production of the system, for the first phase of Poland's WISŁA air and missile defense program. The Warsaw office is intended to enhance the WISLA program of medium-range air-and-defense missiles.
Poland was eager to obtain missiles after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, but it was not until 2018 it made a deal for the Raytheon-made Patriot missiles.
The system to be used by Poland has yet to be fielded by the U.S. Army. A limited-user test by the U.S. Army is scheduled for 2020, which follows unsuccessful tests in 2016 that led the Army to reset the program's schedule.