Air Fair 2017: “Orlik” Programme. A Consortium of Polish Companies to Offer Tactical Drones for the Polish Ministry of Defence.

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During the Air Fair 2017 event, Polish Armaments Group, Bydgoszcz-based WZL No. 2 facility, along with the PIT-RADWAR S.A company, in presence of the Secretary of State at the Polish Ministry of Defence, Bartosz Kownacki, have signed an agreement that brought a consortium to life, the objective of which would be to participate in a procedure carried out by the Armament Inspectorate, with a goal to procure “Orlik” short range tactical UAV systems for the Polish Armed Forces. The document defines the responsibility borne by the individual parties to the Consortium as well as the division of tasks.

The goal of bringing the aforesaid consortium, led by the Polish Armaments Group, to life is to jointly develop and submit an offer to the Armament Inspectorate of the Polish Ministry of Defence, pertaining to the “Orlik” UAV initiative, contained within the operational programme: Satellite and Imagery Reconnaissance. The said programme constitutes a component of the Technical Modernization Plan pursued by the Polish Armed Forces.

Members of the consortium would undertake collaboration within the scope of developing, designing, delivering and managing the lifecycle of the short range tactical UAVs. WZL No. 2 S.A. (Wojskowe Zakłady Lotnicze Nr 2 S.A.) facility based in Bydgoszcz acts as the executive leader of the consortium. The agreement signed defines the scope of responsibility ascribed to the individual members of the consortium and defines the division of tasks, within the scope of complex preparation of a product which is to be proposed by the Polish Armaments Group for the Armament Inspectorate of the Polish MoD.

Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa S.A. [Polish Armaments Group], acting as the consortium leader, is going to remain responsible for preparing the short range tactical UAV system offer, in line with the requirements defined by the Polish Ministry of Defence. On the other hand, WZL No. 2 facility based in Bydgoszcz, as the Consortium’s Executive Leader, remains responsible for integrating the individual elements of the system, including the airborne platform, ground-based control stations and other components contained within the offered solution.

Bringing the Consortium that is to participate in the “Orlik” programme to life is yet another, visible effect of consolidation of the Polish Defence Industry, within the Polish Armaments Group. By integrating the competencies of the PGZ Group’s companies, we are able to deliver a reliable product for the Polish Armed Forces. The joint activities are directed towards achieving synergy and optimization of the business processes. Thanks to the newly established consortium, the Polish Armaments Group, on the specified deadline, would deliver a product for the Polish Armed Forces, meeting all of the requirements defined within the procurement process.

Adam Lesiński, PGZ S.A. Member of the Board

Thanks to the newly concluded agreement, Bydgoszcz would become a centre for production of fully Polish UAV systems. We should also place an emphasis on the fact that in November last year, also at the WZL facility, the Polish Armaments Group has established a UAV Centre of Competence. I hope that soon, fully-Polish UAVs would be used by the Polish soldiers. Only thanks to the innovative defence products, utilizing the state of the art technologies and Polish know-how, the Polish Armed Forces may be operationally effective on the contemporary battlefield. The unmanned aerial vehicles constitute a future for the aerospace sector, not only does the development of technology within that field translate into heightened level of national security, as it also means that our domestic industry becomes more competitive which, on the other hand, as I hope, would translate into contracts signed also with the foreign customers.

Bartosz Kownacki, Secretary of State at the Polish Ministry of Defence

Within the programme related to acquisition of short range tactical UAV systems, also known as “Orlik”, the consortium led by the Polish Armaments Group, is inclined to offer the E-310 UAV. The said system is destined to carry out complex reconnaissance missions over vast areas, in a variety of terrain and weather conditions. The whole complex allows the user to gather and transfer high quality reconnaissance data in real time, to the desired points of reception.

The main elements of the SBSP E-310 UAV system are: hybrid-propulsion (electric and internal combustion motors) aerial platform and NSK ground control station. Communications system and a data-link integrate the aforesaid components, allowing the operator both to remotely control the UAV, as well as to manage the payload. E-310 platform remains able to reach the altitude of up to 5 thousand meters and fly at speeds above 200 kilometres per hour. On the other hand, the E-310’s payload includes an optronic sensor fitted with daytime and night vision camera, laser range finder, laser target marker, SAR GMTI radar for creating the situational awareness imagery in tough weather conditions, and for tracking the moving targets, and, optionally, an ELINT suite allowing the operator to carry out electronic reconnaissance.

E-310, Image Credit: WZL 2.

SBSP E-310 UAV has an operational radius of 200 kilometres, which means that with flight endurance of up to 15 hours, assuming that several NSK control stations would be arranged all around the country, the system offered by the PGZ-led consortium makes it possible to continuously monitor the whole Polish territory. Wingspan of the said UAV is 5.4 meters, it is 2.8 meters long and 0.7 meters high. The system, however, may also be transported in a 3 meters long and 0.7 meters wide and 0.6 meters high case. The drone takes-off with the use of a pneumatic launcher, while landing takes place in a conventional manner, or with the use of a parachute.