17th Brigade of Polish Army with Poprad VSHORAD system

Image: 17 WBZ
Image: 17 WBZ

17th “Wielkopolska” Mechanized Brigade announced that the process of deliveries has begun with regards to the self-propelled Poprad anti-aircraft systems. The new systems would be received by the 7th anti-aircraft squadron responsible for providing the brigade with air defence capabilities.

According to the information released, the squadron already has two systems as such at its disposal. All anti-aircraft batteries would receive the Poprad systems by the end of October this year. The relevant 2020 schedule assumes that the Polish military would receive another 24 systems as such during that period.

This is a new piece of equipment that is becoming a part of the arsenal of the anti-aircraft systems designed for the purpose of detecting, identifying and neutralizing airborne targets at short distances and at low altitudes, with the use of guided short-range missiles.

Commander of the 17th Mechanized Brigade’s anti-aircraft squadron, Lt. Col. Wojciech Szołtek

The agreement concerning the delivery of 77 series-manufactured examples of the Poprad air defence system has been concluded by and between the Armament Inspectorate of the Polish Ministry of Defence and PIT-RADWAR S.A. on 16th December 2015. It has a value of PLN 1.083 billion (approx. 290 USD million). According to the schedule adopted, the deliveries were to begin between 2017 and 2018, while the finalization deadline has been set in 2021. The examples ordered follow the first two prototypes. This means that the Polish military would receive 79 Poprad systems in total.

The first series-manufactured Poprad systems have been received by the Polish military in June 2018. By the end of 2019, the air defence units of the Army have received 36 Poprad systems in total.

Three air defence regiments of three general divisions are now using the system in question (fourth, 18th Mechanized Division is being formed now, with an organic anti-aircraft unit).

Poprad systems have already been received by the 4th “Zielonogórski” Anti-Aircraft Regiment (11th “Lubuska” Armoured Cavalry Division), 8th “Koszaliński” Anti-Aircraft Regiment (12th “Szczecińska” Mechanized Division) and 15th “Gołdapski” Anti-Aircraft Regiment (16th “Pomorska” Mechanized Division).

Systems as such are also being introduced into the inventory of some batteries of the anti-aircraft squadrons of the general military brigades, including the 17th Mechanized Brigade. Poprad SAM system is also being operated by the 21st Highland Brigade and by the 15th “Giżycka” Mechanized Brigade. The newly formed 19th Mechanized Brigade and the 12th Mechanized Brigade are also going to receive the Poprad systems. Air defence squadrons of most (or all) of the brigades operating or being equipped with the Rosomak APC, and of the newly established 19th Brigade.

Poprad is a VSHORAD SAM system that is destined to become a part of the lowest layer of the Integrated Air and Missile Defence. POPRAD has been designed to detect, recognize, and destroy airborne targets at close distances and low altitudes with the use of very short-range anti-aircraft missiles.

The system is armed with 4 Grom or modernized Piorun VSHORAD missiles. The missiles are placed on a column mount installed within the cargo compartment of a Żubr vehicle that is extended when in a combat setting. Poprad can neutralize targets at a distance of up to 5.5 - 6.5 kilometers, flying 3-4 kilometers high, depending on the effector used.