Missiles, Drones, and Minelaying Systems. Defence Industry Racing to Get EU Funding

Photo. HSW

Poland submitted Baobab scattered minelaying systems developed by the PGZ Group companies, Piorun MANPADS and the MSBS Grot rifles along with the FlyEye and Gladius UAVs and Warmate loitering munitions developed by the WB Group to the European programme of joint military procurement. If any of the aforesaid solutions end up being selected by the EU member states, they would be viable for EU funding.

The Polish Ministry of Defence announced that products manufactured by the PGZ Group subsidiaries, and the WB Groups, have been selected for submission in the European EDIRPA programme. The equipment in question includes:

  • Piorun MANPADS (combat-proven in Ukraine, operated by Estonia, and Norway, also procured by the US, and selected by Slovakia), which can effectively neutralize aerial threats at ranges from 400 m to more than 6.5 km, at altitudes ranging from 10 m to more than 4 km;
  • Baobab-K scattered minelaying systems, procured in 2022, capable of rapidly creating anti-tank minefields - 24 vehicles as such were procured in 2022;
  • Grot assault rifles are operated by the Polish Armed Forces, and also in Ukraine; these rifles are also exported to Africa;
  • FlyEye UAVs and Warmate loitering munitions (combat-proven in Ukraine, but also operated by other nations), and Gladius unmanned search and strike system procured in 2022, with a range of more than 100 kilometres.

These products are offered to allied EU nations (plus Norway), while potential joint procurement made by at least 3 states could receive extra funding. Noteworthy, the list of Polish systems that have been submitted to be a part of the EDIRPA programme is not brought to closure - new submissions are possible.

What is EDIRPA?

In response to the full-scale Russian aggression against Ukraine, the European Union decided to extend the scope of initiatives that would envisage financing of defence capabilities. European Defence Industry Reinforcement through the Common Procurement Act (EDIRPA) programme is one of those undertakings. It was created by a regulation of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on 18th October 2023.

EDIRPA plans to provide financial support for joint purchases by at least three Member States between 2024 and 2025. The budget involved (and consequently - available funds) is around EUR 310 million. The EDIRPA plan has been divided into three key areas: munitions, combat platforms and replacement of legacy systems, and air/missile defence (counter-UAS included). Each of those domains is expected to receive extra funds in an amount of up to EUR 103.2 million. Let us add that this is just the amount of extra financing involved. The procurement value involved may be much higher. Participation in EDIRPA constitutes a relevant opportunity for the Polish defence industry.

EDIRPA is a temporary programme only. In the upcoming years, much more ambitious defence financing initiatives are expected to be undertaken by the EU. The first step is the EDIP (European Defence Industry Programme) initiative, with an investment of EUR 1.5 billion between 2025 and 2027, including joint procurement and production capacity.


There is talk of the EU committing significantly more money, up to EUR 100 billion, to defence, over the next decade. This will happen, for example via the EU issuing special bonds or redirecting unused funds from National Reconstruction Plans. The latter was recently mentioned by Prime Minister Donald Tusk. In response to’s inquiry, the European Commission recently confirmed that proposals for more defence funding are due by June. The European Investment Bank is also increasing its commitment to defence financing. This means that participation in the EDIRPA programme, if successful, will enable the Polish industry to build the experience necessary to apply for much larger funds.