Armed Forces

Poland Cancels Its Airfield ATC Radar Procurement Tender

Hensoldt ASR-NG radar.
Photo. Hensoldt

The Armament Agency had announced a procurement procedure, regarding the acquisition of 15 systems for airfield ATC radars (RKRL systems) in March last year. Up to five bidders were expected to be invited, meeting all of the criteria. The final selection was to indicate the bid that was the best one financially, also taking into account the formal and technical criteria. The latest release suggests, however, that the tender has been cancelled.

The Armament Agency announced a procurement procedure, regarding the acquisition of 15 airfield ATC radars known as the airfield area radar control systems (RKRL systems) more than a year ago, via the Official Journal of the EU. The tender had an estimated value of PLN 826,8 million The order concerns delivery of 15 systems for radar control of airbase region (RKRL), including 8 as the baseline order, and 7 that could be procured, within the framework of the right of option, with the delivery also involving the establishment of the required infrastructure (including construction works) related to the setup and operation of the RKRL systems, and execution of training, delivery of the required documentation, and the logistics package, the release stated. The final deadline for implementation of the baseline portion of the agreement was defined as 30th September 2028, for the portion envisaging the right of option the deadline was extended to 30th September 2035.

The requests submission deadline for this procedure expired on 14th April 2022, and the whole process had a limited profile. As the latest release issued by the Armament Agency on 9th June this year, the bidding procedure was cancelled, as “until the bids submission deadline only one bid had been submitted and that based on Article 226, section 1, subsection 5 of the aforesaid act, it was rejected”. Most probably, the Agency would restart the tendering procedure in the upcoming days, however, some time may pass, until a proper bidder is found.

The procurement concerns, as the information above suggests, equipment that would be capable of carrying out continuous radar surveillance over the airfield, providing the user with radar information on the air picture in the areas of responsibility of the military TWR and APP organs. The modernization process in question is to heighten the levels of safety at the Polish airbases and ensure that they can work within the allied network, for instance by making sure a full data link capability is available, and that allied aircraft can be handled within the system.

<p>Obecnie wykorzystywane w Polsce radary kontroli rejonu lotniska Avia-W Fot.</p>

The available information indicates that the airfield ATC radars were to utilize S-band 3D radar equipped with a Mode S IFF Mk XIIA, along with a military-grade GPS with a SAASM module. The system should also be capable of exchanging the information with external systems, in compliance with ASTERIX and AWCIES standards. Furthermore, it shall be tailored for operation in a net-centric setting and should be certified up to the NATO Secret level.

The ATC airfield radars started to be common at the Polish airbases in the mid-1980s. Back then, the Avia-W radar developed in Poland was used in that role - the first example was commissioned in 1985, at the Goleniów AB. The Avia-W radars are still being used today.