The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Polish defence industry discussed during the MSPO

07 september 2021
The consequences of the coronavirus pandemic for the Polish defence industry were discussed by representatives of scientific institutions. The conference was organized within the scope of the 29 International Defence Industry Exhibition in Kielce

One of the problems of the Polish defence industry which became apparent during the pandemic has been the lack of separate institutions responsible for national security, not related to military operations. This was the observation of General  PhD  Hab. Julian Maj, professor at the State Higher Vocational School in Suwałki. - Now, the entire responsibility rests with the Ministry of National Defence, which could not cope with the situation. Another consequence of the pandemic was the disclosure of the ineffectiveness of state bodies responsible for national security – a  lack of knowledge about own resources and the lack of knowledge about the existing response systems, including those proposed, inter alia, by NATO.

 Engineer  Józef Zakrzewski PhD, the President of the Management Board of the Polish Industrial and Defence Agency, found the financial situation of the Polish Armaments Group - the country's strategic defence company, good. According to the scientist, an effective tactic was to increase the number of orders from, among others, the Ministry of National Defence MOD  He also pointed out that such action comes at a cost - a partial resignation of cooperation with the private sector, i.e. Polish military companies unrelated to PGZ. These companies reported significant losses in 2020.

Katarzyna Rawska PhD. sees a chance for in Polish defence industry in the post -pandemic times. The sector will focus of the Polish military market, offset contracts, which are a kind of regular practice in the international arena. She gave examples of Japan and Israel, which have relied on offset contracts for years. - This approach has many advantages for the domestic defence industry,  chiefly the possibility of introducing new technologies for later use by domestic companies.  - In January 2020, Poland signed a contract for the purchase of F-35 fighters from the United States for the total amount of USD 6 billion, which was not offset. This significantly reduced the possibilities of modernizing Poland's defence systems.

 Professor  Paweł Soroka PhD. Hab. from the Institute of International Relations and Public Policies at the Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce said that the Polish defence industry has not suffered as much as other business sectors,  mainly because it has not been subject to any restrictions.  Orders were not withdrawn, although there were often problems with the deliveries and transportation of commodities. He also pointed out that despite the inability to introduce remote work schemes in the defence industry, none of the companies was coronavirus outbreak cluster, as was the case in the mining industry. The professor saw also some negatives - no modernization of Polish defence industry companies adaptation to the customer and employee market, as it was the case in other countries.

- Also, testing new ways of promoting products from the arms industry. One can get the impression that Polish industry missed the opportunity. The consequences of inaction may be permanent - said the professor.

The conference took place on the first day of the 29.  International Defence Industry Exhibition in Kielce.  The event continues until 10 September.

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