Poland to Launch SONA VSHORAD Procurement? Thirteen Potential Bidders
The Armament Agency announced that analysis concerning the VSHORAD SONA system has come to its final stages. 13 entities were involved in this task.
The information provided by Col. Krzysztof Płatek, spokesman for the Armament Agency, suggests that the "analysis underway, concerning the task related to the acquisition of the SONA VSHORAD system, is currently in its final stage". The task was supported by a technical dialogue procedure that involved 13 domestic and foreign entities:
- Transbit Sp. z o. o.;
- Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa S.A.;
- CRW Telesystem-Mesko Sp. z o. o.;
- Israel Aerospace Industries;
- Rheinmetall Air Defense AG;
- Rafael Advanced Defense Systems;
- MBDA UK Ltd.;
- Aselsan A.S.;
- Thales (France) with Nexter Systems;
- Northrop Grumman International Trading Inc.;
- Raytheon Technologies Corporation;
- Lockheed Martin Global Inc.;
- Hanwha Defense Co. Ltd.
Most of the businesses involved in the Technical Dialogue can offer proprietary solutions - a specific VSHORAD system. Some of them offered their intention to participate in the programme, and deliver some crucial elements - such as the C4ISR, or the missile itself.
The SONA programme covers a multitude of different domains, as it is to result in the development of a comprehensive, mobile air defence system for the land component, protecting the land forces from a myriad of air threats, including rocket, artillery, and mortar munitions in the C-RAM domain.
It is an important assumption for the elements of this system to be directly integrated into the armoured and mechanized units, protecting them in all combat scenarios, both when on the move, as well as at a halt. These would include reconnaissance, combat, and command modules, based on a tracked and/or wheeled platform.
The PGZ Group also expressed its interest in the SONA programme, offering to base its proposal on the existing systems, such as the Poprad self-propelled SAM solution, OSU-35 warship armament system, the ZSU-23-4 MP Biała modernization package, and "Grom" and "Piorun MANPADS (and a new missile derived from Piorun), deployable Soła and Bystra radars, and IFF suite. Know-how that had been gathered previously during the Loara and Pilica programmes would also be usable.
The PGZ's proposal also features an entirely new solution - self-propelled laser- and directed energy anti-aircraft systems, that would ensure air defence by using non-kinetic measures to act against air threats - primarily the unmanned platforms.