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Poland is rapidly emerging as a significant player in Europe’s ammunition industry, particularly for artillery shells and tank ammunition. This development has led to intensified media attacks on companies under the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ). Dr. Przemysław Kowalczuk, Deputy CEO of Mesko S.A., highlighted the necessity of increasing ammunition production since 2022, citing heightened demands in this sector.
Poland’s Ministry of Defense signed agreements with PGZ for substantial ammunition procurements, aligning with both a national initiative and a broader European project. While Poland’s domestic project involves purchasing a million units of 155mm artillery shells and substantial tank ammunition, a European Commission initiative aims to supply Ukraine and replenish member states’ arsenals with 1 million units. Kowalczuk emphasized the notable contrast in scale between these initiatives, reflecting a shift in the balance of ammunition production.
Media Controversy and Motives
Kowalczuk expressed concern about unwarranted attacks in various Polish media outlets, primarily those influenced by foreign capital. He attributed these attacks to attempts to undermine PGZ companies involved in both projects, implying a bid to revert to a Western-dominated business model and indirectly favoring Russia.
Nitro-Chem, a PGZ subsidiary, has been a focal point of these controversies. Kowalczuk clarified the company’s strong cooperation with the United States and its commitment to transparency, emphasizing that the partnership aligns with the strict standards required by such a demanding partner.
Shifts in the Industry
Kowalczuk outlined how the ammunition market, shaped during the Cold War, faced shifts with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Poland and other Eastern European countries modernized their defense industries, challenging the established Western dominance. With Poland emerging as a key ammunition producer in Europe, diplomatic responses from old players have varied based on their willingness to adapt.
Mesko S.A. adopted the United States as a benchmark for cooperation, acknowledging the nation’s openness and technology transfer to PGZ companies. This strategic partnership enhances Poland’s security and fosters mutually beneficial development.