Defence Policy

Narew Programme: Błaszczak Wants to Accelerate the Deliveries

Narew system - Błaszczak and Chwałek Head of the Polish MoD, Mariusz Błaszczak, and President at the PGZ Group, Sebastian Chwałek, concluding the Narew system agreement.
Photo. J. Sabak

"I think this is a world record when it comes to acceleration of deliveries", said Mariusz Błaszczak, head of the Polish Ministry of Defence, when approving the agreement concerning two Narew system fire units. As clarified by Błaszczak: "This stems primarily from our very well-established cooperation with the UK partner - the manufacturer of the CAMM missiles, as well as the launchers that the Polish military is to receive, but also from very good cooperation with the Polish defence industry".

The event that took place on the 14th of April also involved the representatives of the Armament Agency, Armed Forces, and the PGZ-Narew consortium - a party to the agreement. PGZ-Narew partnered up with MBDA UK - the British company to deliver both the CAMM missiles, as well as the iLauncher launch systems. Poland shall be responsible for the integration, of the C2 system, the loading vehicles, launcher-carrier vehicles, and the radars.

“Our consortium has been tasked with rapidly reinforcing the air defence system in Poland - and we are ready to do this. The implementation of this contract is an opportunity for us to turn the declaration into reality, when it comes to the Narew programme, with the involvement of the Polish industry. We will not fail, and we will keep our word, given to the Polish Armed Forces”, said Sebastian Chwałek, President of the Management Board at PGZ S.A. The programme involves numerous PGZ companies and R&D institutions, within the framework of the established consortium.

The current configuration of the Narew system envisages identical composition of both Fire Units procured - 1 Soła radar, command station, three iLauncher vehicles based on the Jelcz 8x8 platform, and the same number of loader vehicles. The first Fire Unit is to be delivered by September this year. The second one, between 2022 and 2023. This is where the statement pointing to the record-breaking tempo of deliveries comes from. The goal here is to start training and gain operational capability as soon as possible.

Notably, we are dealing with a pilot program in some sense, as the requirements defined by the Armed Forces suggest that no less than 23 Narew system batteries are needed, by the Air Force, Army, and the Navy. Noteworthy - the naval variant of the CAMM missiles would be used on the Miecznik frigates. When it comes to the Narew programme, it is to be Polonized, meaning that even the CAMM missiles are expected to be manufactured in Poland.

In the light of the above, one should be happy with the rapid delivery of the first Narew Fire Units, however, we should still remember that the next step is even more relevant. This step would come in a form of the conclusion of an agreement concerning all of the required SHORAD assets, with the required transfer of technology entailed - also related, or above all related to the CAMM missile. Noteworthy, throughout the lifecycle, the effectors, manufacturing of the effectors, deliveries, and maintenance are the most relevant component of the whole cost. It needs to be said that this very element of the system shall be Polonized. Thought should be given to manufacturing, development, or maybe even export sales.