A British Army Sky Sabre air defence system has reached its initial operating capability in Poland to defend against air and missile attack by Russia. (Crown copyright)
A British Army Sky Sabre air-defence system has reached its initial operating capability in Poland as part of a buildup of forces to defend the NATO ally from air and missile attack by Russia, a British Army spokesperson told
on 23 May, adding that the full operating capability would be declared in the “next few months”.
The spokesperson declined to provide details of how many launchers had been deployed or their position, citing “operational security” reasons.
The Sky Sabre system in Poland is operated by 11 (Sphinx) Battery Royal Artillery, according to the social media feed of its parent unit, 16 Regiment Royal Artillery, which dubbed the deployment the Medium Range Air Defence Contingency Force.
UK Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace announced the deployment on 17 March, but it is unclear when 11 Battery first arrived in Poland. On 12 May, 16 Regiment said 11 Battery arrived in Poland “several weeks ago”.
Royal Artillery personnel have been establishing co-operation with allied air-defence units in Poland, including a visit to the US 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command's MIM-104 Patriot unit. Officers from the Polish 3rd Air Defence Brigade also visited 11 Battery, according to 16 Regiment.
This story, first published on 25 May 2022, has been updated with a photo.