Land Forces

Poland Procures Dozens of Drones for Its Artillery Units

FlyEye UAV.
FlyEye UAV.
Photo. Territorial Defence Forces

Head of the Polish Ministry of Defence, Mariusz Błaszczak, announced that an agreement was signed, regulating procurement of the FlyEye UAVs, manufactured by WB Electronics.

The negotiation on procurement of the FlyEye UAVs has been going on since late 2021 when a decision to procure those systems was approved by the Council on Armament. As confirmed by the Spokesperson for the Armament Agency, Lt. Col. Krzysztof Płatek, the agreement concerns 11 UAV "sets", and has a value of ca. PLN 50 million. The new UAVs would be delivered to the rocket/artillery component (Wojska Rakietowe i Artyleria) of the Polish military.

This shall not be a surprise, since the WRiA units operate the Topaz ZZKO automated fire control system - the FlyEye UAV has been integrated with the said solution. This makes it possible to use the UAVs to designate artillery targets and adjust the firing solutions. A system as such has been combat-proven in Afghanistan, where the FlyEye UAVs were working together with Dana-T howitzers and Liwiec firefinder radars, both using the Topaz fire control system.

A single FlyEye system “set” includes 4 UAVs, with a control, command, and communications suite. The artillerymen would acquire - most probably - 44 aircraft as such. Nowadays the FlyEye system is only operated at the level of artillery regiment - three “sets” in total. After the agreement discussed here is finalized, the UAVs may also see use at the artillery squadron level - at least in some cases. The deliveries are to start this year, with the final examples scheduled to be commissioned in March next year. The previous procurement of 12 FlyEye sets for the Territorial Defence Forces was finalized between 2018 and 2019. The UAVs in question have seen extensive use recently, in the area adjacent to the Polish-Belorussian border.

Poland Procures FlyEye UAVs for Artillery Units and Major Quantity of Loitering Munitions

FlyEye UAV is a hand-launched mini-UAV system that - in the latest variant, FlyEye 3.0 - offers a range of 50 kilometers when a standard antenna array is used. The optronic sensor features a daytime camera and a thermal imaging system, while the control and communications remain highly resistant to jamming. UAVs as such are also operated by Ukraine - where they have seen use in combat.

The WB Group’s representatives emphasize the fact that FlyEye, apart from conventional mission set including observation or artillery support, can also work in a role of a communications relay. It may also become a part of the W2MPIR reconnaissance-strike system, utilizing the Łoś tactical UAV platforms, and the Warmate loitering munition systems.