Bombs for the F-16 Jets to be Made in Bydgoszcz. Production Would Begin in 6 Months
Nitro-Chem S.A. chemical plant, belonging to the Polish Armaments Group is inclined to initiate production of Mk-82 and Mk-84 bombs, used by the Polish F-16 Jastrząb jets, in collaboration with the RWM Italia company of Rheinmetall Defence. The ordnance is to be certified, so that not only would it be possible to use it onboard the Polish aircraft, but also to include it in the export offer.
On 17th May 2017, a letter of intent has been signed by and between the “Nitro-Chem” S.A. company and RWM Italia, belonging to the German Rheinmetall Defence group. The latter entity is a certified manufacturer of bombs, which means that Polish, domestically manufactured, ordnance would meet the relevant qualitative requirements defined for this type of armament. The Italian manufacturer is going to deliver the bomb bodies which will be filled with explosives at the facility based in Bydgoszcz. This would significantly diminish the cost of transportation, as it would concern solely the cast-metal parts, not the aircraft ordnance, the shipping of which is a subject to convoluted legal regulations.
As it was stressed by Fabio Spacci, President of the RWM Italia company, the aforesaid agreement bears strategic and economic significance. Poland would, from now on, be in possession of an ability to manufacture and procure Mk-82 and, in the future, Mk-84 bombs, also for export purposes.
RMI Italia is a certified supplier of aircraft ordnance. As the President of the company admits, since several years Mk-82 bombs have been enjoying considerable demand, nonetheless the Italian manufacturer has a limited ability to load the bomb units with the explosive material.
President of the Management Board of the “Nitro-Chem” S.A. company, Krzysztof Kozłowski, announced that the letter of intent signed may, within 4 to 6 months, make it possible to initiate manufacturing of the Mk-82 bombs in Bydgoszcz. The entailed investment would be tied solely making the facility capable to manufacture heavier bombs, in comparison with the armament which had been delivered by it so far.
The HE-load bombs manufactured there so far were weighing 100 kilograms, meanwhile Mk-82 bomb units weight is 500 lbs (227 kilograms) each. Moreover, not only are the RMI Italia bomb units certified to be carried by numerous combat aircraft, including the Polish F-16, they may also be converted into guided bomb units: laser-guided GBU-12 Paveways and GPS/INS-guided GBU-38 JDAMs. This paves the way towards significant cost reduction, in cases when Poland would be inclined to acquire this type of PGMs in the future.
Polish Air Force, recently, has been acquiring major quantity of ordnance for the Polish F-16 jets. Only in December 2016, the Polish Armed Forces have initiated tenders concerning: 550 Mk-82 general purpose bombs, 480 GBU-12 Paveway II bombs and 440 GBU-38 JDAM bomb units.
On 30th November, the Armament Inspectorate announced that steps are going to be taken to procure 200 guided training bombs – this purchase is going to be covered by an amount of PLN 12 million. The global demand for armament of this class stems from common use of the Mk-82 unit and of the guided variants thereof, e.g. during the Syria or Iraq air operations.