Bids Submitted in the Polish F-16 Recce Pods Tender

Polish F-16C - Image Credit: Jacek Siminski
Polish F-16C - Image Credit: Jacek Siminski

Two entities have submitted their requests to participate in the procurement procedure concerning the aerial SAR reconnaissance system, spokesman for Armament Inspectorate major Krzysztof Płatek told us. The above refers to reconnaissance pods utilizing SAR sensors, and to the integration of these on the Polish F-16C/D Block 52+ fleet.

The procurement would involve the acquisition and integration of three pods. Alongside the pods, the MoD plans to procure ground mission-planning stations and ground support equipment for programming the pods, ground-based data analysis, and transmission systems, diagnostic tools and systems, as well as technical documentation.

The Armament Inspectorate told us that Elta Systems Ltd. (IAI subsidiary) and Goodrich Corporation (a part of the UTC Aerospace Systems company) have submitted their requests to participate in the tender.

We do not know what the estimated purchase value is, however, the bidders are requested to pay bid security of PLN 5 million. Thus, the whole contract would have a value probably exceeding PLN 100 million. It is estimated that the work defined by the contract would be accomplished in 44 months from the date of conclusion. The Polish Air Force currently operates the DB-110 systems delivered by Goodrich Corporation (in the Persian Gulf for instance), along with two ground-based intel-analysis stations.

DB-110 is a system that operates in the visible light spectrum (CCD residual light camera), and thermal imaging system with optical systems stabilized in 2 dimensions. Both systems make it possible to observe objects from the side, at a distance of 36 kilometers for the thermal imaging system, and 72 kilometers for the EO sensor. The Polish Air Force also operates Lockheed Martin’s Sniper pods.

The F-16 jets of the Polish Air Force were carrying out reconnaissance missions in Iraq (PKW Kuwejt detachment - Polish Military Contingent Kuwait) between 2016 and 2018. The deployment was a part of the global coalition fighting Daesh. The SAR reconnaissance pods procurement aimed at expanding the reconnaissance capabilities of the F-16s has become a part of the Technical Modernization Plan, adopted by the MoD. The technical dialogue on that matter has been launched back in 2017, with the current procurement beginning in late 2020.