President of Poland Visiting Stalowa Wola. Artillery Systems and ZSSW-fitted Rosomak APC in the Background

21 stycznia 2020, 10:14
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Image Credit: Jerzy Reszczyński

President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, paid a visit to Stalowa Wola, city that is only 80 years old and that has been founded as the largest location within the Central Industrial District formed back in 1937. Not only does the city still praise the CID heritage, it is also a home to several defence industry companies. During the press conference the company showcased its primary products, including Rak, Krab and Kryl artillery systems as well as Rosomak APCs fitted with the ZSSW turrets.

HSW S.A. is one of the businesses that cultivates the heritage of the Central Industrial District. It is also one of the strongest pillars of the PGZ Group. Its roots date back to the “Zakłady Południowe” [Southern Plant] facility, established when the district was being created. The company has been working on the most important modernization programmes pursued by the Polish military for years now. In the past it has been primarily delivering artillery systems and engineering platforms, mainly license manufactured ones. Currently it is a dynamic R&D facility, thanks to fruitful cooperation with the military and a number of civil entities as well. It is constantly working on new, domestically developed technologies that are designed to meet the needs of the Polish military.

Meeting between the HSW S.A.’s staff and the President took place at the final assembly hall where products manufactured for the MoD (155 mm Krab sphs, REGINA modules, including command and command/staff WDSz and WD vehicles and WA ammunition carriers or WRUE recovery platforms) are taking their final shape. The very same hall is used to manufacture elements of the company level Rak mortar modules, including M120K mortars, AWD command vehicles, AWA ammunition carriers and AWRU technical support platforms.

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Image Credit: Jerzy Reszczyński

HSW is currently working on the first Krab battery including 8 self-propelled howitzers belonging to the second series manufactured squadron-level module - this is the third module of the kind in general. The battery in question is expected to be delivered by the end of the 2nd quarter of this year. Two Regina modules that had been manufactured by HSW earlier are already operated by the 11th “Mazurski” Artillery Regiment based in Węgorzewo and 5th “Lubuski” Artillery Regiment based in Sulechów. The first (out of two) Rak mortar company-level modules ordered by the MoD on 11th October 2019, that are expected to be delivered in 2020 and 2021, are also being manufactured at the moment. It was back in October 2018 when HSW S.A. timely finalized delivery of equipment for the first eight Rak modules. 

It is a great honour for us to host the President at HSW S.A. This is an important event for our facility since it is the second ever visit of the head of state at our company, preceded only by President Mościcki. For the first time ever we had an opportunity to get the President acquainted with the contributions made by Stalowa Wola, to the potential of the Polish defence industry (...). We are one of the most important Polish defence companies manufacturing advanced artillery systems for the Polish military. We are looking for more opportunities to grow and create even better products addressing the growing needs of the military

Bartłomiej Zając, President of the Management Board, HSW SA

 HSW S.A. has also been tasked with working on some portion of the Wisła programme for the Polish military. This year a facility has been erected to manufacture the M903 Patriot launchers. Another undertaking is the Borsuk New Amphibious IFV or the ZSSW-30 unmanned turret that is currently involved in a qualification test programme. Two examples are being tested now. The turret has been designed for the Rosomak APC and Borsuk IFV. Finally, HSW is also working on the 155 mm Kryl wheeled self-propelled howitzer.

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Image: Krzysztof Sitkowski/KPRP

The facility also manufactures UMI 9.50 and SŁ-34C engineering systems and delivers spares for many of the legacy systems still operated by the Polish military (ISM Kroton, UMI 9.50, SŁ-34C, 2S1 Gvozdika howitzers, M98 mortars or TRI vehicles). HSW S.A. is also the sole owner of the Jelcz company, the main supplier of heavy duty vehicles for the Polish MoD. The company also manufactures carrier platforms for a myriad of military systems such as radars, rocket launchers, communication nodes and others. Moreover, HSW also co-owns the AUTOSAN company.

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Image Credit: Jerzy Reszczyński

 Andrzej Duda, the Polish President, along with PGZ management and representatives of the National Security Bureau got acquainted with the expanded barrel manufacturing facility, robotized welding line for manufacturing of armoured vehicles, X-Ray lab with a large volume chamber and one of the largest portal milling machines in Poland destined to process large metal elements. President of Poland was very interested in advancements made with regards to a new investment - a manufacturing facility the purpose of which is to manufacture air/missile defence system elements within the framework of the Wisła programme. Duda also got acquainted with the Borsuk IFV prototype that is being currently tested.

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Image Credit: Jerzy Reszczyński

HSW S.A. has invested almost 70 million zlotys over the last two years to develop its facilities, labs and research and test hardware. Andrzej Duda admitted that he is impressed by the manufacturing facilities and the technical, process and HR potential that remains at disposal of the HSW S.A. company, also admiring the highly qualified personnel, the ambition and determination of the employees, whose work makes it possible for HSW to face the most serious of emerging challenges.

You are one of the most important entities today, capable of delivering modern, heavy combat equipment for the Polish military. I am very happy that the modernization programme pertaining to the Polish military, mentioned so often and suffering from setbacks of different nature, is finally progressing and it is being implemented also, or above all, so successfully, here, in Stalowa Wola.

Andrzej Duda

 Behind Duda, one could have seen the primary products made by HSW, including the Krab howitzer (the first example manufactured and welded with involvement of the new manufacturing infrastructure at HSW), Kryl howitzer, M120 Rak on a tracked platform and two ZSSW-30 turret prototypes installed on Rosomak APC (as mentioned above - currently subjected to a qualification test programme). In the assembly hall Duda could also have got acquainted with Krab turret systems belonging to the second series manufactured Regina modules with various stages of completion and WD/WDSz command vehicles and WA ammunition carriers for the first battery. 

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Image Credit: Jerzy Reszczyński

 Notably, between 2016 and 2019 HSW S.A. has delivered sixty six 120 mm self-propelled Rak automatic mortars, 48 Krab self-propelled howitzers and 60 other support platforms and a number of other specialized products, such as engineering platforms. The company overhauled several different vehicles for the military as well.

The success of HSW S.A. is a result of long term strategy that has been a subject to consistent implementation by the management board. The investments related to the hardware, raising the employee qualification and rigorous process regime translated into timely deliveries of high quality translate into perfect results and further orders awarded to the facility by the military. We are driven to make all of the PGZ companies follow the path of success paved by HSW S.A., and the guarantor here comes in a form of stability and long-term orders.

Witold Słowik, President of the Management Board at PGZ S.A.

 After visiting HSW S.A. Andrzej Duda, the Polish President, also opened the „Od COP do Gospodarki 4.0” – Stalowa Wola 2020 [From CID to Economy 4.0] exhibition, considered to be a prestigious national economic event organized at a new production hall erected by the Industrial Development Agency, with surface area of 12 thousand square meters. The exhibition has been inspired by the Polish General Exhibitions held in Lviv, Cracow and Poznan during the interwar period (with the last event organized in 1929). Duda decided to resuscitate the idea of those exhibitions on the Centenary of the Polish independence. The exhibitions had a goal to showcase the potential and strength of the Polish economy. A similar objective has been adopted by the organizers of the event in Stalowa Wola.

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Image Credit: Jerzy Reszczyński

 The exhibition involved more than 70 Polish companies. Businesses the products of which are innovative, modern and can be associated with the Polish industrial heritage have been qualified to be showcased during the event by the Presidential Business Chapter. HSW S.A. was among the participants, presenting its Krab howitzer and Baobab scattered minelayer, along with the MISTA company (manufacturer of the Oncilla APCs). Other defence sector players also presented their products, many of them are tied to the Central Industrial District. The group also included aerospace companies. WB Group also presented its products during the event.

Many companies located in Stalowa Wola, dealing with light metal alloy processing (manufacturing rims and pressure molds for engine, aviation and space industries), also took part in the exhibition. The exhibition was to showcase the current potential of the industrial facilities in Stalowa Wola.

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Image Credit: Jerzy Reszczyński

The event was open to the public that also enjoyed numerous educational and entertainment elements (planetarium, photo-booth, rocket engineering booth, salt-sculpting, glass melting demonstration, environmental workshop, 3D printer interactive presentation or a fascinating duel between a soldering robot and soldering master).

The exhibition was also accompanied by discussion panels with a theme “From Central Industrial District to Economy 4.0” involving the head of the PWG Chapter, entrepreneurs and scientists, local authorities of the Subcarpathian region and economic panel supported by the Dziennik Gazeta Prawna daily and by the Industrial Development Agency.

Jerzy Reszczyński

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