Armed Forces

Polish Ministry of Defence Procures Warmate Loitering Munitions

Fot. Grupa WB.
Photo. WB Group

The Armament Agency has ordered the Warmate loitering munitions system for the Polish Armed Forces. The first deliveries of this system, proven in combat in Ukraine, are expected to happen this year.

The detailed information on the contract has not been disclosed. It has a value of PLN 50 million (gross). This makes it possible to speculate that the deal concerns several hundred examples of UAVs. The Agreement, as the Armament Agency states, concerns further "WARMATE loitering munition systems, in combat and training versions, in a number securing the current requirements of the Polish Armed Forces, when it comes to operational capabilities, along with a training/logistics package".

The Warmate system has been designed for identifying and striking enemy light armor or infantry - depending on the warhead used. Warmate can be used as a stand-alone system carried by the soldiers, or as a system that is integrated on a vehicular platform. The system has been equipped with control modules, making it possible to fully automate most of the flight stages, including the guidance stage. The automated control unit provides relevant support to the operator. The UAV is controlled in real-time, based on a video feed of the observation subsystem. The operator is given complete freedom when choosing the mode of operation - multiple-use reconnaissance mode, or single-use combat mode.

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The system has been integrated within the Topaz Automated Artillery Fore Control System and can work closely with other UAVs, such as FlyEye. Warmates are operated by the Territorial Defence Component of the Polish Armed Forces. The first order concerning these drones has been placed in 2017. The system was formally commissioned in the Polish military in 2021.

The manufacturer - the WB Group - Warmate has a range of up to 30 kilometers from the control station. That range can be extended, if the system is "taken over" in flight, by soldiers that use proper control systems. MTOW is defined as 5.7 kilograms, whereas the warheads, weigh 1.4 kilograms. Warmates have seen operational use in Ukraine, and Turkey, and they are also being operated by several other export customers.

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The WB Group has been continuously developing its loitering munitions offerings. Here, the U-Gate system is a good example - it makes it possible, if coupled with the Perad radio developed for the Tytan combat ensemble, to control FlyEye and Warmate UAVs. Warmate TL (Tube Launch variant) is another example - this UAV can be carried by another UAV, manned aircraft, or ground vehicle - in the latter case, potentially, higher quantities of loitering munitions could be carried. A much heavier Warmate 2 system has also been developed, with a range exceeding 180 kilometers.