A patriot missile Raytheon MIN-104 is seen during the Battle Griffin 2005 excersise in Bodo, Norway. Photo: Andreas Freude/Bundeswehr via Getty Images

In a major show of force to Russia, Poland has signed the biggest weapons deal in its history with the U.S., reports Reuters. The deal, signed Wednesday, ratifies the purchase of a Raytheon air and missile defense system for $4.75 billion.

Why it matters: The purchase comes on the heels of the U.S. and two dozen other countries, including Poland, taking coordinated action on Monday by expelling Russian diplomats over Russia's alleged nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in the U.K..

The details: The Patriot system will reportedly be out for delivery to Poland by 2022. It will give Poland the ability to locate, identify and track incoming targets. Poland is now the 15th nation with the Patriot system.

  • The Polish Minister of Defense announced, and Raytheon confirmed to Axios, that the U.S.-based company will deliver two Polish-configured batteries of the medium air and missile defense system in an IBCS-enabled Patriot Configuration 3+. This consists of four AN/MPQ-65 radar sets, 16 M903 launching stations and PAC-3 MSE missiles.

What they're saying: Wes Kremer, President of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems said, "[t]his is the most capable integrated air and missile defense system in the world, will give them an integrated operating capability with other NATO countries and provide enhanced security for not only Poland but for the NATO alliance."

  • General Leszek Surawski, the Polish military’s chief of staff, told reporters after the signing per Reuters, “[w]e are getting to the front row of countries which will be able not only to cooperate and jointly carry out tasks with the United States and NATO, but will be also perceived on (NATO’s) eastern flank as...stronger than others.”

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Debris on the streets as then-Hurricane Zeta passes over in Arabi, Louisiana, on Oct. 28. It's the third hurricane to hit Louisiana in about two months, after Laura and Delta. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people, triggered flooding, downed powerlines and caused widespread outages since making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday.

The big picture: A record 11 named storms have made landfall in the U.S. this year. Zeta is the fifth named storm to do so in Louisiana in 2020, the most ever recorded. It weakened t0 a tropical storm early Thursday, as it continued to lash parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and strong winds.

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Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing" and the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus for the achievement, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China