Polish Ministry of Defence Acquires 780 Light Mortar Systems

Commander of the Territorial Defence Forces, Div. Gen. Wiesław Kukuła (right-hand side), and President of the ZM Tarnów facility, Henryk Łabędź. Image Credit: Rafał Lesiecki / Defence24.pl
Commander of the Territorial Defence Forces, Div. Gen. Wiesław Kukuła (right-hand side), and President of the ZM Tarnów facility, Henryk Łabędź. Image Credit: Rafał Lesiecki / Defence24.pl

Polish MoD has just acquired 780 60 mm LMP-2017 infantry mortars. The acquisition cost has been defined as almost PLN 32 million and the armament will be received by the Territorial Defence Forces and by the Land Forces. The contract was signed last Wednesday, 12th December 2018. The first lot including 150 examples is to be received by the military in late 2019, while the contract as a whole is to be completed by the year 2022.

Conclusion of the agreement was announced on Wednesday, 12th December 2018, in Grójec, the hometown for the 1st Radioelectronic Centre and one of the light infantry battalions belonging to the 6th “Mazowiecka” Territorial Defence Brigade. ZM Tarnów is the manufacturer of the mortar systems in question. The facility is a part of the state-owned PGZ Group.

The event was to be attended the head of the Polish Ministry of Defence, Mariusz Błaszczak. However, due to parliamentary workload the Minister had to stay in Warsaw on the day of the event. Nonetheless the Grójec-held event was attended by the commander of the Territorial Defence component, Div. Gen. Wiesław Kukuła.

An Agreement has been signed by and between the Polish Ministry of Defence and the ZM Tarnów facility, on the basis of which we will acquire 780 examples of very modern mortars that, to a significant extent, have been designed on the basis of what we, the soldiers, have defined in the requirements. These mortars will be delivered by the end of 2022. As the administrator of equipment as such for the whole Armed Forces I would like to stress the fact that not only is this equipment going to be received by the Territorial Defence Forces, but also by the Land Forces as a whole. The first delivery has been planned to happen as soon as in the second half of next year. The Agreement has a value of almost 32 million zlotys.

Commander of the Territorial Defence Forces, Div. Gen. Wiesław Kukuła

 Kukuła stressed the fact that procurement of the Armament shall constitute a proof that development of the Territorial Defence component has not been slowed down.

President of the ZM Tarnów company, Henryk Łabędź, emphasized the fact that LMP-2017 has been designed with the Territorial Defence Forces in mind. The system has been redesigned to match the branch’s requirements. - I have a great deal of respect for the commanders of the individual units who were providing us with tips as to what direction we should take when modifying this weapon, to make it ergonomic, safe and cheap – Łabędź said.

Image Credit: Juliusz Sabak/Defence24.pl

 The military is to get 780 examples of the system. The contract value is a little more than 31.6 million zlotys. The deliveries are to be finalized by the end of 2022, while the first lot of the mortars (150 examples) is to be supplied throughout the second half of 2019. The contract additionally covers training for the instructors and the maintenance staff, as well as logistics and e-learning packages.

The agreement concerns the weapon that shoots the Polish 60 mm mortar rounds, different from the ones used by NATO. The mortars feature liquid sighting systems. According to Kukuła, there is an option of fitting the weapons with digital sighting systems in the future. Most probably 500 of the acquired mortars will be received by the Territorial Defence Component while 280 weapons would be delivered to the Land Forces.

General Kukuła told us that 500 mortars meet the training requirements that the Territorial Defence Force may have. Initially the weapons are to be received by the brigades based in Subcarpathian, Lubelskie, Podlachian and Warmian-Masurian voiviodeships.

The Territorial Defence component will have mortars embedded within the structure of every light infantry company. The weapon is to shoot training, live and illuminating bombs as well. The latter type of bombs is also to be used in crisis management support and SAR operations.

NIL Military Unit signed the agreement on behalf of the military. This is not the first time that sees involvement of that unit in acquisition of the armament for the WOT (Territorial Defence) component. Command of the WOT forces is acting in a role of the administrator, in case of the mortars purchased. The command claims that the LMP-2017 systems seems to fully comply with all of the expected requirements.