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Military


Army Equipment

The chief small arm of the Polish ground forces, the Kalashnikov rifle, is rated at the top of its class. The Radom Lucznik Works, a sewing-machine plant, is the domestic manufacturer.

In 1992 the Polish ground forces had a total of 2,316 artillery pieces. Of that number, 883 were towed, including 715 M-1938 howitzers (122mm), 166 D-20 gun-howitzers (152mm), and 2 D-1 howitzers (152 mm). Another 617 artillery pieces were selfpropelled , including 498 of the 2S1 model (122mm), 111 of the Dana (M-77, 152 mm), and eight of the 2S7 (203-mm) variety. The Soviet-built M-1938 howitzer had been upgraded and replaced several times in the Soviet arsenal since its introduction in 1938. The D-20 was designed shortly after World War II, and the D-1 was first used in 1943. The Dana (M-77) was the most modern self-propelled gun in use in 1992.

The artillery arsenal in 1992 also included 262 multiple rocket launchers, of which 232 were BM-21 and thirty RM-70 (both models 122mm). The BM-21 had been in Warsaw Pact arsenals since at least 1964; the RM-70 was added in the late 1980s to replace the older BM-14. Some 554 Soviet-designed 120mm mortars were also in service in 1992. In the surface-to-surface missile category, Poland had forty FROG and twenty-five Scud B launchers. Four types of antitank guided weapons were in use in 1992. There were 271 AT-3s, 115 AT-4 Spigots, eighteen AT-5 Spandrels, and seven AT-6 Spirals. In the 85mm antitank gun class, Poland had 722 D-44 guns, which were of World War II vintage. In 1992 Poland had 945 antiaircraft guns in the 23mm and 57mm classes. The former were ZU-23-2 and ZSU-23-4 SP, the latter S60, which were introduced in 1950. Some 260 surface-to-air missile launchers were of the SA-6, SA-7, SA-8, SA-9, and SA-13 types.

One of the primary goals of the Polish Armaments Group is to maximise the participation of the Polish industry in the Army modernization process. The increased equipment manufacturing volume and the provision of services for the Army will contributed to the growth in Poland’s defensive force and Polish defence industry competitiveness.

Financing will be provided for investment in new military equipment for the Polish Army, in particular as part of the air defence system and combating threats at sea, as well as for the modernization of armoured and mechanised forces. In addition, combat support helicopters and ‘Rosomak’ armoured personnel carriers will be purchased as part of the Army modernization program.

Infantry Fighting Vehicles

In March 2016 Poland announced plans to spend up to $21 billion to replace its Soviet-era infantry fighting vehicles. Over the next decade, Warsaw has promised to spend $42 billion in order to meet the NATO mandate that each alliance member has to spend more 2 percent of more of GDP on defense.

The move reflected efforts by Warsaw to reduce reliance on Soviet and Russian designed military hardware amid Moscow's two-year-long intervention in the East Ukraine war and takeover of Crimea. At that time Poland operated a fleet of 1,000 of the armored Soviet fighting vehicles, also known as BWP-1 and BWP-2. The Defense Ministry had earlier set phase-out dates for the fleet for the period between 2018 and 2021.

“This is a major undertaking for the next dozen years which, according to various estimates, will generate a cost of between 20 and 80 billion zloty if we decide to acquire two types of infantry fighting vehicles, lighter and heavier units,” Deputy Defense Minister Bartosz Kownacki told local Polish news agency PAP 15 March 2016. [that is, both lighter wheeled and heavier tracked vehicles]

The new Polish zloty (meaning 'golden') was introduced on January 1, 1995 as a result of the redenomination of the old currency. As of 17 March 2016 1 Polish Zloty equaled 0.27 US Dollar, which meant that 1,000,000,000 zloty equalled $265,000,000. So the proposed purchase would have a budget of $5.3 billion to $21 billion. Assuming a one-for-one replacement of 1,250 existing IFVs, these numbers imply a unit cost of $4 million per vehicle, which seems a bit high, to over $16 million per vehicle, which is implausible. Surely the plan includes more than just the 1,250 IFVs.

Warsaw was considering partnership projects to replace the vehicles, including joint procurement with the Czech Republic. A partnership with the Czech Republic could see both countries procure IFVs jointly so as to lessen the overall price tag.

Poland intensified efforts in 2014-2015 to upgrade and expand its military capabilities in response to Russian aggression coming from the east. For many people living in Poland, Moscow's interventions in Ukraine harked back to the country’s communist past, which only ended in 1989. While Poland does not share a border with mainland Russia, it does have a northern border with the Russian-held enclave of Kaliningrad where Moscow keeps a large contingent of naval forces, including ships and nuclear submarines.

Artillery

The "Regina" weapons systems program planned to developing and buy a variety of artillery systems:

  1. The self-propelles 120mm motar on wheel (Wolverine APC) and tracks chassis - "RAK" program ("Crab") are Rosomak 120 mm wheeled self-propelled mortar carrier armored vehicle. Propably more then 80 "Crab" 120mm motar would be bought for the Polish army. There were no 120mm SP motars in Polish Army earlier so "Rak" is something new. Until 2018 Polish Army would buy 104 x self-propelles 120mm motar on wheel (Wolverine APC) and tracks chassis - "RAK" program ("Crab") - 64 x on wheel chassis and 40x on track chassis, with priority given to the wheel chassis.
  2. All BM-21 GRAD will be replaced by 120mm MLRS WR-40 "LANGUSTA" ("Crayfish") from Huta Stalowa Wola. The WR-40 Langusta multiple rocket launcher system Jelcz truck MSPO 2010 from Poland. The new "Phoenix-Z" rockets have for HE, a range of 50km, for CARGO warhead 37km. The Polish army bought 72 WR-40 "Crayfish" MLRS, but in plans polish artilery HQ wanted ~110-120 WR-40. Until 2018 Polish Army would buy probably 24-48 MLRS. A total of 75 x 122mm MLRS WR-40 "LANGUSTA" ("Crayfish") had been delivered.
  3. All 2S1 122mm will be replaced by 155mm SPH "KRAB" ("Crab") from Huta Stalowa Wola. The Polish Army wanted to buy Excalibur and BONUS rounds for "Crab". Until 2016 they will be 16 SPH "Crab" in Polish Army, with a target of more than 48 SPH. Until 2018 Polish Army would buy 75 x 155mm SPH "KRAB" ("Crab") (3x 24 + 3 SPH for artilery school) - 24 SPH's will be deliver until 2015
  4. All 152mm SPH Dana would be replaced by 155mm wheel SPH "KRYL" ("Krill"). This program had low priority, because all "Dana" in Polish Army are quite fresh. About 100 "Krill" will be bought eventually for the Polish army.
  5. All 9K76 Tochka will be repalced by HOMAR ("Lobster" MLRS 227(300mm)/600(607mm). This program had high priority. Propably it would purchase about 16-24 of these MLRS system with the American 607mm rocket system from MLRS.

Poland could also use designs from South Korea's K9 howitzer vehicle, which was acquired by Polish manufacturer Huta Stalowa Wola for its 155mm self-propelled howitzer. Armored equipment modernization provides for the use of the 155 mm self-propelled ‘KRAB’ howitzer, manufactured by Huta Stalowa Wola. Thanks to its employment Polish Army’s armoured units are able to destroy rocket artillery, command posts or communication hubs. The new armored equipment is one of the most powerful weapons of the Polish artillery.

In May 2016 Poland’s Ministry of Defense signed a contract worth over $252 million with a consortium led by local manufacturer Huta Stalowa Wola S.A. (HSW) and state-run defense company Rosomak S.A. The deal includes delivery of 64 self-propelled 120mm RAK (Crab) mortar vehicles, as well as 32 additional artillery command vehicles. Delivery of the vehicles was to be completed by 2019.

Tank Destroyer ATGMs

Polish Ministry of Defence is going to acquire new tank destroyers based on tracked platforms, in order to reinforce the Polish anti-armour capabilities. Furthermore, the goal of the procedure is to replace the obsolete systems using the 9P133 Malyutka system. The project emerges on the ground of one of the priorities defined within the new Armed Forces Development Programme. 13 potential contractors expressed their will to participate in the technical dialogue procedure, ranging from platform manufacturers, ATGM suppliers with an integrator company capable of fusing an ATGM with an unmanned land vehicle to finish with.

Responding to the questions asked, spokesman for the Armament Inspectorate of the Polish MoD, Cpt. Krzysztof Platek announced that 13 entities expressed their will to participate in the “Obtaining capabilities to destroy armour and armoured assets by tank destroyers” technical dialogue:

  1. Lockheed Martin Global Inc. – Polish Branch;
  2. PGZ S.A.;
  3. WB Electronics S.A.;
  4. OBRUM Sp. z o.o.;
  5. H. Cegielski – Poznan S.A.;
  6. Rheinmetall Defence Polska Sp. z o.o.;
  7. Wojskowe Zaklady Motoryzacyjne S.A.;
  8. Huta Stalowa Wola S.A.;
  9. MBDA UK Ltd.;
  10. IMI Systems – Elbit Systems Ltd.;
  11. BAE Systems Sweden;
  12. BAE Systems USA Combat Vehicles;
  13. Milrem A.S.

Both domestic as well as foreign entities want to take part in the procedure. PGZ also expressed its willingness to access the dialogue: this concerns three of the Group’s companies dealing with manufacturing or maintaining of tracked combat vehicles (OBRUM, HSW, WZM S.A.). H. Cegielski-Poznan is another state entity that is going to take part in the dialogue - the company has been returning to the defence market since recently. The Polish entities also include the privately owned WB Electronics company.

The new vehicles are to be armed with technologically advanced ATGMs capable of acting against heavy armour, including modern main battle tanks fitted with active soft-kill and hard-kill protection systems. The latter are used to act against ATGMs with countermeasures that destroy the incoming missiles.

Most probably, the new equipment would be included in the inventory of the resuscitated 14th Anti-Armour Artillery Regiment based in Suwalki, as stipulated within the new Armed Forces Development Programme. Currently, the 14th Squadron that is to be used to create the regiment has only the obsolete BRDM-2-based 9P133 Malyutka platforms that are obsolete now. It would be a logical step to provide this unit with new equipment.

In July 2020 Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. and Polish company Mesko, a PGZ company, agreed to co-produce the shoulder-launched SPIKE SR (Short-Range) ATGM, as part of Poland’s Pustelnik Program. Led by the Polish MOD Armament Inspectorate, the Pustelnik Program is aimed at choosing an anti-tank weapon for Poland’s Territorial Defense Forces (WOT). The SPIKE SR is an advanced Fire & Forget missile, for ranges exceeding 2000 meters. The missile is simple-to-use and requires very short training. SPIKE SR is man-portable, weighing only (10kg), for day and night use, capable of defeating any type of armored vehicle or MBT. SPIKE SR is totally disposable, a feature that enables the soldier a higher level of mobility and maneuverability after firing.



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Page last modified: 06-06-2021 18:19:57 ZULU