Responding to a parliamentary question asked by the Lewica (The Left) MPs led by Paweł Krutul, regarding the Pirat ATGM, and the acquisition of these for the Polish Armed Forces, Wojciech Skurkiewicz informed that "according to the official information released publicly, regarding the establishment of a multi-layered anti-tank defences in the Polish Armed Forces, and in the coming months, specifically, the Pustelnik programme, it is planned that the first test batch of Pirat ATGMs would be acquired". The conclusion of that contract is expected to happen following the finalization of the factory test programme.
The Deputy Head of the MoD referred to a press release on anti-tank defences recently issued by the Armament Agency, on the occasion of signing an annex regarding the US-made Javelin ATGMs. "The Javelin system is currently, alongside the Spike-LR, one of the two primary ATGM systems operated by the Polish Armed Forces, meanwhile, the plan aimed at developing the capabilities within the scope of neutralizing the enemy armour also includes the Ottokar-Brzoza and Pirat systems", the Armament Agency announced.
"Within the framework of the Pustelnik programme, over the upcoming months, it is planned to sign the first contract on a test lot of Pirat ATGMs. Then a development study shall be launched, aimed at developing a Polish new generation ATGM", the release reads.
W najbliższych miesiącach, w ramach programu #PUSTELNIK, planowane jest zakontraktowanie pierwszej partii testowej pocisków #PIRAT, a następnie uruchomienie pracy rozwojowej, której celem będzie opracowanie polskiego pocisku przeciwpancernego nowej generacji. pic.twitter.com/eoDKNdBwGo— Krzysztof Płatek (@krzysztof_atek) January 31, 2023
The statements made by the Armament Agency, and by the Deputy Head of the Polish Ministry of Defence confirmed the fact that the Polish Armed Forces plan to create a layered system for anti-tank defence - with the Pirat ATGM being the key element of that system.
Skurkiewicz additionally added that "launching a development study, aimed at developing a new generation of Polish ATGM" is also expected. The above aligns with the release issued by the Armament Agency. The assumption the Armament Agency made is to first acquire a test lot of Pirat ATGM, and then create a system that would be fully compliant with the broad set of requirements adopted by the Polish Armed Forces, and utilize the Pirat ATGM's solutions.
Notably, Pirat has already been integrated on a Remote Controlled Weapon Station ZSMU from ZM Tarnów, a PGZ company. It can be used on both unmanned, and manned platforms.
Pirat is a Polish, laser-guided ATGM. It has been developed by Mesko, based in Skarżysko-Kamienna, working hand-in-hand with CRW Telesystem-Mesko based in Lubiczów, near Warsaw. The latter entity is responsible for developing a Polish laser guidance system that remains under Polish control.
Pirat can attack armour at a distance of up to 2.5 kilometres, utilizing both "direct attack", and "top attack" methods as well. The latter capability makes it possible to attack the weaker points of fighting vehicles (top armour of heavily armoured main battle tanks). Thanks to the above, Pirat is a very effective anti-tank asset.
Meanwhile, the CRW Telesystem-Mesko guidance system for Pirat makes it possible to use any designator compliant with NATO standards (STANAG 3733). The Pirat missiles can be guided by NATO systems, while the Pirat's designator may be used to guide munitions using laser guidance - Paveway and Laser JDAM GBUs, Hellfire missiles, or MAM-C/MAM-L munitions used by the Bayraktar TB2 drones.
Pirat is also far more cost-effective than other modern ATGMs operated by the Polish Armed Forces. It can be viewed as a valuable addition to the anti-tank systems' inventory, especially given the high saturation of land units with fighting vehicles, in case of the potential adversary. Finally, all of the components of the Pirat system are domestically controlled, which facilitates modernization, upgrades, and export efforts.