WARSAW, March 20 Poland plans to choose the best
offer for a planned missile defence system within the next few
weeks and sign a final agreement this year, a defence ministry
spokesman said on Thursday.
There are four bidders: France's Thales, in a
consortium with European group MBDA and a Polish state defence
group; the Israeli government; Raytheon of the United
States; and the MEADS consortium led by Lockheed Martin.
The announcement came at a time of heightened East-West
tension over Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.
Experts say the bid will be worth up to 40 billion zlotys
($13.12 billion) and is to be completed by the end of 2022.
($1 = 3.0482 Polish Zlotys)
(Reporting by Marcin Goettig, editing by David Evans)