Armed Forces

Polish Coastal Defence Missiles Heading to Ukraine [EXCLUSIVE]

NSM Missile Launcher
Photo. Jarosław Ciślak/

Discussions are ongoing between Poland and Ukraine, regarding a purchase of elements of the Polish Coastal Defence System (NSM-CDS or NDR), armed with NSM missiles, that can engage both naval and land targets - as has learned from its sources.

According to sources, Poland and Ukraine are engaged in advanced talks to supply elements of Coastal Defence System (PL: Nadbrzeżny Dywizjon Rakietowy, NDR) to Ukraine. It is possible that up to one complete NDR (battalion-level) system will be purchased by Ukraine, to be paid either from Ukraine budget or EU funding. Poland, in turn, would resupply its Armed Forces capabilities by purchasing additional NSM-CDS systems, as already announced on in April.

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NSM-CDS or NDR system is armed with NSM missiles manufactured by Norwegian Kongsberg company. NSM can engage both naval and land targets at a distances of more than 200 km. One can say, that with the delivery of NSM-CDS Kyiv could receive a second European long-range strike system, after Air-to-Ground Storm Shadow/Scalp EG missiles were provided by Great Britain and possibly by France. This time, however, it would be a ground launched system, while Storm Shadow/Scalp EG is launched from aircraft. NSM missiles are stealthy and they are quite small (the weight of entire missile is approx. 400 kg).

The Polish Armed Forces has two complete NSM-CDS/NDR systems. Each consists of two batteries, three launchers with up to four missiles each and supporting command and fire control vehicles in each. In addition to them, the NDR system includes battery- and squadron-level command vehicles, mobile communication centers, target detection and tracking radars produced by PIT-RADWAR and logistics vehicles.

It is worth mentioning that NSM-CDS/NDR is designed to use data from external sources, such as drones, hence the large number of command and communication vehicles next to the missile launchers. NDR vehicles are properly adapted Jelcz vehicles, and the Polish industry took a large part in the development and delivery of communication and command elements. Various Polish companies gained new competences thanks to technology transfers related to NSM-CDS purchases.

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The first NSM-CDS/NDR was purchased in 2008 and delivered in 2012, while the second one - for PLN 800 million - was ordered in 2014 and delivered in 2017. Both contracts were accompanied by offset and technology transfer, thanks to which - apart from capabilities related to C2 system - Polish industry, including Wojskowe Zakłady Elektroniczne in Zielonka - has established competences to support the NSM-CDS/NDR system as well as the NSM missiles themselves.

The Polish Navy was the first user of NSM missiles in the shore-launched variant. After MW, the US Marines, Romania and Latvia decided to acquire a similar, yet not an identical solution (the two latter countries purchased the ground-launched NSM via FMS). In turn, the United States and Norway are among NATO countries that use NSM missiles on their ships, and the Netherlands, Germany and Great Britain also intend to introduce them on their vessels.

Cooperation: Jędrzej Graf