Air Force

Polish Armed Forces Want to Procure Radars for the Airbases

ASR-NG airfield ATC radar.
Photo. Hensoldt

The Armament Agency announced a procurement procedure, regarding the acquisition of 15 systems for radar control of the airport area (RKRL systems). Up to 5 bidders would be invited to place their offers, provided that they meet all of the criteria. The best bid, economically, would be selected, with technical and formal criteria also being taken into the account.

As the release issued by the Armament Agency reads: "The order concerns delivery of 15 systems for radar control of airbase region (RKRL), including 8 as the baseline order, and 7 that could be procured, within the framework of the right of option, with the delivery also involving the establishment of the required infrastructure (including construction works) related to the setup and operation of the RKRL systems, and execution of training, delivery of the required documentation, and the logistics package". The delivery deadline for the first 8 radars expires on 30th September 2028, while the remaining 7 radars that could be procured optionally may be delivered up to 7 years past the above deadline. The requests submission deadline for this procedure expires on 29th April 2022.

Detailed information on the requirements would be shared with the bidders. However, one can refer here, to the requirements defined by the market analysis that has been going on since 2018. The Armament Inspectorate announcement that had been published to indicate that the body had begun the market analysis suggests that the procurement concerns equipment that would be capable of carrying out continuous radar surveillance over the airfield, providing the user with radar information on the air picture in the areas of responsibility of the military TWR and APP organs.

The radar should have Mk XIIA IFF system at its disposal, with Mode S (ADS-B included), along with a military-grade GPS receiver with SAASM module and a separate power supply unit with UPS wireless PSU, should the electrical grid be damaged. The system should also be capable of exchanging the information with external systems, in compliance with ASTERIX and AWCIES standards. Furthermore, it shall be tailored for operation in a net-centric setting and should be certified up to the NATO Secret level. Not only would the bidder be obliged to set up the system and train the personnel, but he would also be tasked with the establishment of relevant infrastructure, buildings included, making it possible for the RKRL system to be operated and maintained.

The modernization process in question is to heighten the levels of safety at the Polish airbases and ensure that they can work within the allied network, for instance by making sure a full data link capability is available, and that allied aircraft can be handled within the system. The equipment is expected to meet the Air Force's Tower/Approach ATC requirements for at least 25 years. Most certainly, the equipment will also offer a relevant potential for upgrades in the future.

Notably, three entities have been qualified to take part in the analytical-conceptual phase of this procurement - originally pursued by the Armament Inspectorate of the Polish MoD:

  1. Hensoldt Sensors GmbH (formerly: Airbus DS EBS GmbH),
  2. Indra Sistemas S.A.,
  3. Saab Technologies Poland Sp. z o.o.

Not only do all of these offer relevant radar systems for airbase ATC, but they have also delivered solutions as such for the Armed Forces of the NATO Member States.