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The Warsaw Voice » Business » June 27, 2013
Business & Economy
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New Defense Giant Up and Running
June 27, 2013   
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A new state-owned holding company bringing together most of Poland’s defense sector manufacturers began operating May 22 to replace a previous defense industry conglomerate that ceased to exist after 10 years on the market.

The Bumar company, the key member of the defunct group, will now lead the new giant, called Polski Holding Obronny (PHO).

Economy Minister Janusz Piechociński said the change is designed to help Polish defense manufacturers meet the challenges posed by the European Union’s single defense market.

According to Piechociński, if the Polish defense industry wants to keep its position in Europe, manufacturers here need to be able to work together. “We have to show that we have good products and even better ideas, and that the ability to work with partners is a strength of the Polish economy,” Piechociński said.

In its last year in business, the Bumar group posted a net profit of zl.32 million. A year earlier, the group reported a loss of zl.120 million.

Like the Bumar group, PHO is made up of 40 companies with a total work force of around 10,000.

PHO is the largest producer and supplier of arms in Poland and one of the largest in Central and Eastern Europe. It offers air and missile defense systems, reconnaissance and command systems, professional optoelectronic devices and modern personal equipment for troops, including protective vests, personal weapons, sights and optoelectronic systems, helmets and gas masks. It also manufactures, modernizes and services armored equipment and combat vehicles, and produces munitions, rockets, gunpowder and explosives.

In late May, PHO signed an agreement with a Swedish subsidiary of the British defense giant BAE Systems to work together on developing a modern light tank for the Polish armed forces.

The company also plans to team up with foreign partners to produce unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, for the Polish armed forces.
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