Wojciech Skurkiewicz, Deputy Head of the MoD, responded to an inquiry submitted by Pawel Bejda, PSL MP. The MP asked several questions referring to the recently signed PLN 10 bn. contract regarding the Piliica+ programme, also covering the CAMM missiles and launchers.
Skurkiewicz announced that the implementation of the Pilica+ programme is related to the execution of tasks "tied to the "Polish Armed Forces Reinforcement Package" introduced by the Act on Homeland Defence, aimed at urgent increase of the Polish defence potential in priority areas, and that remains a response to the current situation in the region and threats resulting from the Russian attack on Ukraine".
Deputy Head of the MoD also said that the integration of the Pilica systems with CAMM launchers and missiles is a “relevant step towards establishing the domestic defence potential in the area of designing and creating modern, multi-channel missile air defence systems that would be developed in the Narew programme”.
Wojciech Skurkiewicz did note that the transfer of missile technologies has been, from the very inception, a part of the Narew programme, and that this is the main objective of talks involving the industrial partner. “According to the choice made, regarding the foreign strategic partner, it is assumed that CAMM family missiles (of varying ranges) would be license manufactured by the Polish defence industry, and the deadlines tied to the launching of the present capacity would be released publicly once relevant agreements are signed”, Deputy Head of the MoD said.
In the Pilica+ programme it was decided to procure several hundred (more than 700) CAMM missiles (range of 25+ kilometres), along with 44 launchers (6 of which for the “Little Narew” programme) from the British partner. Separate agreements for this programme included the acquisition of Polish C2 components and AAA/SAM systems (PLN 3 bn.), and Bystra radars (PLN 1.1 bn.). For the Narew system, CAMM-ER with 45 kilometers range that can engage targets at a maximum altitude of 20 kilometres. The missile has recently been qualified by the Italian military.
Both missiles can engage aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, and UAVs - these use active radar seekers and are launched with the iLauncher missiles. Adrian Monks, Sales Director at MBDA UK confirmed that both variants of the missile can be launched with the use of all of the Polish launchers. In the future development of a new missile could be feasible thanks to the Narew programme’s transfer of technology.
Noteworthy, as Col. Michał Marciniak, plenipotentiary for the Polish Ministry of Defence for air/missile defence said during the Defence24 DAY that the whole Polish air defence system and all of its components (Wisła, Narew or Pilica) is viewed as a single, integrated system. In the future it is envisaged that the air defence elements would undergo structural changes to create unified tactical elements placed at the operational levels, protecting infrastructure, gathering points for military units, and designated areas against a broad variety of threats. Meanwhile, in June this year, the first launch of the "Little Narew" missiles is scheduled - this system was procured last year.
The aforesaid parliamentary inquiry submitted by Bejda MP also mentioned the concept of a Polish-Ukrainian Wicher (Vikhr) SAM - showcased by the WB Group in 2020. “The concept of creating a SHORAD SAM system based on the R-27 missile, presented to the public by one of the domestic (not Ukrainian) manufacturers of military equipment has never been submitted formally, despite the technical dialogue, announced and carried out by the Armament Inspectorate at the time, within the framework of the analysis carried out, regarding the Narew procurement”, Deputy Minister Skurkiewicz said.