MSPO 2022: New Offerings by the WB Group

Gunica Radio.
Photo. Maciej Szopa/Defence24

UAVs have been the main highlight of the WB Group's stand during the MSPO event this year. The internal exhibition stand featured the Warmate loitering munitions swarm, FT-5 tactical UAVs, and FlyEye mini-UAVs, while the outdoor exhibition included the Watchkeeper platform - after a long break. The devil's in the details - namely the communication systems, where the WB Group is among the leading suppliers of such solutions globally.

Radmor Guarana radio has been the primary exhibit here. It is an entirely Polish solution that offers an expansive encrypted communications capability. Guarana has been developed as a result of an R&D effort run by the National Centre for Research and Development. The heavy radio has been designed for vehicular applications - in C2 vehicles for instance. It is one of the key elements of the prospective Mobile Tactical System for Wireless Communications, ensuring full interoperability with the Polish, and NATO/allied comms hardware.

WB Group has also been showcasing a range of new solutions for its proven FlyEye and FT-5 UAVs. FlyEye has been presented in an RF-communications relay variant, that can work together with troops using the Perad infantry radios. The airborne presence of this system multiplies the comms range. A new optical system for night UAV operations has also been showcased. The new solution features a single, yet much more capable, thermal imaging camera, but with the exclusion of a laser rangefinder, or a laser target designator. This allows the FlyEye to conduct night sorties far more efficiently, with higher service ceilings, as opposed to the variants with conventional three-sensor systems. WB has announced an intent to develop numerous specialized systems as such, as well as other mission-specific payloads. That would greatly expand the spectrum of mission capability associated with the company's UAVs.

Single-sensor FlyEye system.
Photo. Maciej Szopa/Defence24

FT-5 UAV is the WB Group's Defender awards contender this year. It is a part of the Gladius system. Another system submitted is the X-Fronter reconnaissance multi-copter. The latter system can be used as a part of the individual inventory kit. It may also find some applications in uniformed services. It significantly boosts the user's situational awareness, allowing him to safely monitor the dynamic operational picture of the battlefield or any other environment. The system is fairly light - and this means that it is truly a pocket-size solution, that can fit pockets of a specially prepared combat uniform. It can also be integrated with other elements of the WB Group's ecosystem, such as the AMSTA perimeter defence system, or UAVs and vehicles. X-Fronter can be launched from a launcher, or it can be hand-released. The launcher also has an integrated charger included. This makes the said system a rapid source of information for the user, enhancing situational awareness.

The WB Group’s stand also featured the latest solutions in the communications domain, including the Topaz artillery fire control system, the Fonet platform, and the PIK integrated crisis management suite.

CombatMate and Counter-Drone ZU-23
Photo. Maciej Szopa/Defence24

The outdoor portion of the WB's MSPO exhibits included the aforesaid Watchkeeper UAV, presented jointly by the WB Group and its British partner, teaming up under the U-TacS programme. The goal is to offer a tactical medium endurance UCAV to the Polish Armed Forces. The outdoor stand also featured the offer of the Arex company - also a part of the WB Group. The stand featured the Bruiser-based Combat Mate vehicle, outfitted with Arex's RCWS featuring a .50-cal. machine gun, and Warmate TL loitering munitions launchers. The solution in question is offered to foreign customers, or the Polish Armed Forces, for missions where the African platform could turn out to be easier to maintain, given the available infrastructure. A proposed upgrade of the ZU-23 gun, with an extra targeting system and extended range sabot rounds, has also been another interesting highlight of the WB's offer at MSPO. The cannon has also been fitted with an EM-based Counter-UAS solution. This turned this very popular legacy weapons system into a lethal Counter-UAS system with hard- and soft-kill capability. The system is still being tested within the scope of the EM attack capability.