Mariusz Błaszczak, during a joint press conference with the UK Defence Secretary, and soldiers of the 18th Anti-Aircraft Regiment, appeared in Zamość to oversee the commissioning of the first elements of the “Little Narew” system. The delivery of the second system for the Elbląg-based squadron which is a part of the 15th “Gołdapski” Anti-Aircraft Regiment has been scheduled to happen in early 2023, the Polish MoD announced via Twitter.
The Head of the Polish Ministry of Defence emphasized that "reinforcement of the Polish Armed Forces is taking place, with another stage of Polish-British cooperation being finalized, with that cooperation being aimed at reinforcing the resilience of the NATO member states on the Eastern Flank".
"We are drawing conclusions from the war raging in Ukraine, we know the methods that the Russians attacking Ukraine use, and we know how the resilience of the Ukrainian Army is being established. And we have no doubts, the air/missile defence assets are an important element of security", Błaszczak emphasized.
Henceforth, Błaszczak noted, cooperation with the UK has been launched, resulting in the certification of the Polish troops, and early commissioning of the Little Narew system - "short-range air/missile defence launchers, based on the British technology". Błaszczak also indicated that the "Little Narew" system includes Polish radars, Polish trucks, and British missiles and launchers.
Błaszczak stressed the fact that air/missile defence is a relevant capability for the Polish Armed Forces.
The “Little Narew” air/missile defence system includes the following elements: Soła radar, Zenit weapons control system, three iLauncher launch vehicles based on the Jelcz P882.57 trucks, two missile transporters based on Jelcz trucks, and, finally, the CAMM missiles.
As stressed by the head of the Polish Ministry of Defence, “both systems, together with Patriots, provide a strong cover for the sky over Poland, and they constitute a lethal response, when it comes to threats related to cruise missiles for instance”.
"We are cooperating, establishing interoperability, also because the British Army is stationed in the territory of Poland, with its armoured units", Błaszczak indicated. "We are also working together when it comes to projects related to the Navy. We are jointly building frigates that would be commissioned in the Polish Navy. We also cooperate in the area of engineering units", he added. "It is a whole plethora of capabilities that, thanks to our Polish-British cooperation, we are developing, and the goal of that cooperation is to provide security along the whole Eastern Flank of NATO", Błaszczak concluded.
The deliveries have been accelerated, and are a result of a decision made in April this year. The integration of relevant “Little Narew” system components paves the way towards the Narew programme proper, as that integration serves as a confirmation of the compatibility of the iLauncher system with components sourced in Poland, such as the fire control system, or the radar.
The Narew SHORAD SAM programme is one of the prioritized undertakings in the Polish Armed Forces Technical Modernization Programme. The programme also envisages a broad use of the capacity that the Polish industrial base offers. Transfer of Technology is also a part of the initiative.
The main task assigned to Narew would be to protect the units and infrastructure in the area of operations and fill in the gaps and serve in a complementary role in relation to the Wisła MRAD, at low altitudes, all being a part of national and allied IADS.
The signing of the performance contract on delivery of the first elements of the effector system, and integration of those with components delivered by the Polish Armed Forces (with a gross value of PLN 1.65 bn.) translates into the implementation of the provisions contained within the performance agreement concluded by and between the Armament Inspectorate and the PGZ-Narew consortium, on 7th September 2021, during the MSPO event in Kielce. Not only is the adopted mode of implementation beneficial schedule-wise for the Narew system, but it also confirms the righteousness of changes made by the MoD, to the military procurement system.