Modernization and Development of the Polish Armed Forces
(Source: Poland Ministry of Defence; issued Dec 28, 2017)
During the last 2 years 250 contracts were signed by the Polish MoD for the modernization of the Armed Forces, which amounted to 20 billion PLN. 160 of them amounted to 13 billion PLN and were assigned to Polish industry.

In 2016 and 2017 respectively the budget of the Polish MoD was implemented 100%, meaning totally and properly, and in 2016, for the first time in 8 years, the Polish MoD spend all funds dedicated to modernization Theories about an “inefficiency” of modernization are not confirmed compared to facts.

BIGGEST CONTRACTS

The following contracts can be found amongst the biggest contracts, the implementation of which rapidly increases the defence and striking potential of the Polish Armed forces: contracts for the modernization of 128 Leopard 2A4 tanks, deliveries of 64 RAK mortars, 6 batteries for the short range missile-artillery anti-aircraft system Pilica; 1300 missiles for the mobile anti-aircraft system Poprad, 1000 anti-tank guided missiles SPIKE, 6 vessels for technical protection and conducting rescue operations on sea named HOLOWNIK.

The contract with Huta Stalowa Wola (Stalowa Wola Steel Works) for 96 pieces of 155mm self-propelled tracked howitzers Krab amounts to 4.5 billion PLN. This is the biggest procurement in the Polish defence industry since 1989. The first pieces were already sent to the 11 Mazurskie Artillery Regiment in Węgorzewo.

Contract for 64 pieces of 120mm automatic mortars “Rak” with a KTO Rosomak chassis and 32 command vehicles amounts to almost 1 billion PLN. The first elements of the company firing module for the 120mm self-propelled tracked howitzer RAK with a wheeled chassis were send by Huta Stalowa Wola in June 2017 to the 17 Mechanized Brigade in Międzyrzecze. The elements of the second module were sent to the 12 Mechanized Brigade in Szczecin.

The first part of the 53 000 modular assault rifles (GROT) will be soon available for the military. It is the biggest contract for the delivery of rifles after 1989. This contract amounts to almost half a billion of PLN and the procurement is to be executed by 2020. A symbolic hand-over of those rifles to the Territorial Defence units took place in Warsaw on November, 30 in front of the Stefan Grot-Rowecki Monument in Warsaw.

The Navy received five modernized W-3 WARM ANAKONDA rescue helicopters and the following three will be delivered in 2018. The modernized helicopters are equipped with the Full Authority Digital Engines Control system (FADEC)-which replaced the analogue system-, as well as new rescue equipment, new thermal imagining cameras compatible with searchlights. All new helicopters are equipped with the Automatic Identification System (AIS), which significantly improves all evacuation operations of victims from vessels.

The signing of the contract for deliveries of the JASSM-ER air-to-ground missiles, which are of strategic importance, as well as DAGLEZJA bridges, is another accomplishment.

On November 28 the flag was ceremoniously raised on the most modern vessel of the Polish Navy- ORP Kormoran- a minehunter, which will belong to the 13. Minesweeper Squadron of the 8. Coastal Defence Flotilla. It was built by a consortium of the Shipbuilding S.A. repair shipyard from Gdańsk and the R&D Center o Maritime Technology S.A. from Gdynia. Its main tasks will be to search, classify, identify and destroy sea mines, detect water lanes, guide vessels through waters with mine threats, deposit mines and remotely control self-propelled anti-mine platforms.

On December 27 another contract will be signed for the delivery of additional two, modern minehunters with three logistic support packages and one rescue vessel, with a possibility to order a second one. Moreover, the modernization of the following vessels, amounting to 90 million PLN, is being performed as part of the investment: ORP “Lublin” transportation-mine vessel by the GRYFIA Shipyard and the ORP “Drużno” and ORP “Hańcza” vessel by the NAUTA Shipyard.

On November 28 a contract for the delivery of 28 buses for the military was signed in Sanok. The value of the contract amounts to 18 million PLN and it will be executed in the fourth quarter of the next year.

AUTOSAN performs a contract for 12 cabins type 890, which was signed in September 2017, and finalizes the delivery of 11 cabins of the same type for the Military Communication Works in Zegrze. Those cabins meet the requirements of electromagnetic attenuation and are designed for Mobile Digital Communication Nodes.

On December 17, 2017 a contract was signed with PZL “Warszawa- Okęcie” S.A. for the modernization of 12 PZL-130 TC-I ORLIK aircrafts to PZL-130 TC-II ORLIK version in the years 2017-2020. This contract will be executed to 30.10.2020 and it amounts to 186 million PLN. The modernized PZL-130 TC-II ORLIK aircrafts will be used for basic and advanced military pilot training in the field of piloting and navigation technique under different weather conditions. They will be equipped with advanced tools typical for military aircraft.

As part of the modernization of the Armed Forces intensive work is currently in progress due to the possibility of initiating the delivery of over 800 pieces of “Feniks” missiles.

We also take care of the individual equipment of the soldiers, hence a contract was signed for the delivery of 100 000 winter and summer uniform sets, as well as protective clothing and 20 000 kevlar helmets, till the end of the current year.

REINFORCEMENT OF THE POLISH INDUSTRY

Thanks to the activities of the Polish MoD it was possible to reinforce the position of the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ), which made it possible to save the Navy Shipyard. Starting from January 1, 2018 this shipyard will be part of the Group: in addition to that 800 million PLN was assigned to Polish shipyards, out of which 80% to shipyards supervised by PGZ.

The revenue of the Group increased last year by 40 million, including 56% from export, which now is 16% of the revenue. This will allow the Polish industry to regain its international position. 450 million PLN were spent during the last two years on the modernization of the Polish defence industry. This money was invested, among others, in the barrel manufacturing facility of the Stalowa Wola Steel Mill, anechoic chamber in PIT-Radwar, new machines producing rifles in ZM Tarnów.

In the upcoming time the Chemical Plant “Nitro-Chem” S.A, owned by PGZ, will start in Poland the production of aerial bombs Mk-82, which are part of the armament of the Polish F-16 fighter jets. This production will increase the security of Poland- it will create capabilities for national production and potential export to third markets. “Nitro-Chem” follows the strategy of polonization of armament systems being used by the Polish Armed Forces. Approximately 1300 such bombs were procured within the last 3 years by the Polish Air Forces.

On November 20, 2017 a contract was signed for the delivery of the most modern armaments systems- WARMATE loitering munition- to the Polish military. According to this contract the Armed Forces will receive short-range combat UAVs. The first batch will be delivered to the Regional Logistic Bases. This contract includes also operator training and training sets. This weapon, which will be used by operational forces, special forces and territorial defence, is an example of good cooperation between private and state-owned business, being part of the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ).

AIR DEFENCE

As part of air defence a program is being executed aiming at achieving operational capability in the field of securing objects, administrative-economic centers, military units in regions of operational development, as well as during a joint defence operation in a national and allied system.

As a result of that in order to purchase a medium range anti-air and anti-missile set codenamed “WISŁA”, Poland plans to purchase the most recent version of the Patriot system. After approving by the US State Department the sale of Patriot sets together with IBCS system to Poland, the Polish MoD will sign the final contract at the beginning of next year.

INCREASE OF FUNDS AND SIZE OF ARMY

A breakthrough project of amending the law on modernization and financing of Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland was created in the Polish MoD, which includes an increase of funds for defence. The act of law passed by the Polish parliament on September 15, foresees and increase from 2% of GDP to 2.5% of GDP in 2030.

The reinforcement of the defence potential of Poland is an absolute necessity. For the first time after 1989 a substantial increase of the size of the Polish Army takes place. The creation of the Territorial Defence and building capabilities of this formations complies with this necessity. 200 000 soldiers is the target number of soldiers in the Polish Army.

Currently eight thousand soldiers serve in the Territorial Defence. The formation of the fifth type of Armed Forces started at the beginning of 2017. In 2017, during 7 months from the moment the first soldiers were accepted to the Territorial Defence, 64 basic, supplementing and rotational trainings were conducted. Up to now a Command of the Territorial Defence was established, as well as three brigades in the Podlaskie, Lubelskie and Podkarpackie voivodship. Soldiers are already being trained in those units.

Next brigades are being formed: one in Warmia and Mazury region, two in Mazowsze region. The structures of those units are currently being supported with professional human resources and the first training of volunteers in those units is planned for first quarter of 2018. The idea, concept and pace of forming the Territorial Defence is appreciated by our allies and experts in Poland and NATO. Russian politicians and soldiers are firm opponents of the Territorial Defence.

The abovementioned information are a reflection of a systematically conducted armaments policy, aiming at an efficient, realistic and quick modernization in order to reinforce the Polish Armed Forces and the Polish defence industry. Current procurements are not a result of pressure from lobbying units, but a result of objective analysis and research conducted also during the Strategic Defence Review.

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