After a few years of analytical-conceptual effort, the medium-range UAV programme, also known as Gryf, has progressed to the implementation stage. As we were told by Krzysztof Płatek, spokesman for the Armament Inspectorate, a committee has been brought to life at the Inspectorate, that would prepare and carry out the whole procurement process.
I am informing you that following the launch of the implementation phase for the task pertaining to the acquisition of tactical MALE UAVs within the framework of the GRYF programme, a committee has been brought to life at the Armament Inspectorate, tasked with preparing and carrying out the public procurement procedure. At the current stage, as the committee’s work is in progress, it remains impossible to disclose the detailed timeline of the undertakings.
At the moment we do not know what entities, and, consequently, what UAV platforms, would be taken into the account in the Gryf programme. Hermes 450 by Elbit Systems, Thales Watchkeeper, IAI Tactical Heron, and Textron Nightwarden have been marketed in Poland, with the Gryf programme in mind. All of the aforesaid bidders also declared their willingness to work with the Polish industry. We expect that more detailed information on Gryf will be available later.
Ultimately, 15 MALE tactical UAV systems are planned to be acquired - this information has been disclosed during one of the recent meetings of the Parliamentary National Defence Commission. This may translate into the acquisition of 60 to 90 UAV platforms, and a couple to several ground control stations, depending on the system’s configuration. Gryf systems will be tasked with combat and reconnaissance missions.
One needs to note that both Gryf (MALE-tactical), and Zefir (MALE) procurements are separate from the acquisition of the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones. Four “sets” of the latter, along with armament, training, and extras, were procured in may this year, justifying the acquisition with the “urgent operational requirement” circumstance. The deliveries are to begin in 2022, and the last of the UAVs is to be supplied two years later.