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Industry

WDS 24: Polish arms industry with an offer for the Middle East

KTO Rosomak model with additional armor package used by the Polish Army in Afghanistan.
Photo. Robert Czulda/Defence24

This year’s edition of the World Defense Show in Saudi Arabia featured a Polish presence in the form of the Polish Armaments Group (Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa, PGZ) booth. The Group displayed a wide range of products, including their latest export hit, the Piorun shoulder-fired very short-range air defense missile.

The Polish booth, although lacking any of the Group’s „heavier offerings” in metal, showcased a broad range of products from various entities within our defense industry. The appearance of some of them, such as the aforementioned Piorun missiles, marks another step in promoting Polish weaponry abroad, which has been somewhat neglected in recent years (if not decades). One of the more interesting elements of the exhibition in recent months was a model of the Rosomak wheeled armored personel carrier with add-on armor developed for the Polish forces in Afghanistan. Last year the vehicle attracted significant interest from Saudi Arabia. In fact, in 2016 a number of Polish-built chassis of Rosomak armored vehicles were transferred to the Patria company of Finland, which fitted them out with specialist equipment and sold them on to the United Arab Emirates. Will the ongoing talks translate into a contract for the sale of Rosomak vehicles to Saudi Arabia? We shall see.

The stand of the Polish Armaments Group at the World Defense Show 2024 in Saudi Arabia.
Photo. Robert Czulda/Defence24
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The booth featured models of artillery systems such as the Krab self-propelled and the M120K Rak mortar. Both vehicles are being used in combat by Ukrainian soldiers, who are reportedly very satisfied with their new hardware. Although this is a welcome boost in reputation, witnessing an actual vehicle always leaves a greater impression on visitors and decision-makers than a scale model. For obvious reasons, the absence of full-scale vehicles is understandable. Regarding the Krab, there have been recent rumors about the possibility of Kyiv acquiring another batch of these artillery systems.

Model of the M120K Rak self-propelled mortar.
Photo. Robert Czulda/Defence24
AHS Krab model
Photo. Robert Czulda/Defence24

The booth could not have gone without the best shoulder-fired air defense system in the world – the Piorun, which has gained more users in recent months. Following the provision of a certain number of launchers and missiles to Ukraine, where the missile had its baptism of fire, the number of customers has been rapidly increasing. Currently, Estonia, Latvia, Norway, the US, Slovakia, Georgia (possibly) and an unspecified Balkan state are among the users. Due to its performance and Mesko’s continuous gains in production capacity, its potential export to countries of the Arabian Peninsula would not only be a significant image success but also a financial one. Furthermore, the Piorun is constantly evolving, so its capabilities will continue to grow.

MANPADS Piorun
Photo. Robert Czulda/Defence24

Another product from Mesko showcased at WDS was the Jack-S anti-tank guided missile system (an export version of ATGM Pirat), which fills the niche between long-range anti-tank guided weaponry such as the Spike-LR/LR2 and shoulder-fired munitions like the Panzerfaust 3 or the Carl Gustaf family. Considering the variety of anti-tank weapons in the region the Jack-S could be an interesting option for the replacement of post-Soviet anti-tank systems.

ATGM Jack-S.
Photo. Robert Czulda/Defence24

PGZ displayed a wide range of small arms from both the Radom Armaments Factory (Fabryka Broni Radom, FB) and the Tarnów Mechanical Works (Zakłady Mechaniczne Tarnów, ZMT). The latter brought a UKM-2020S machine gun, the latest version of this NATO-compatible Polish variant of the well-known PK. The new version was tested in 2022 by soldiers from the 1st Podhale Rifles Battalion. An order for the Polish Land Forces is eagerly awaited. As for automatic rifles, the MWS-15 was shown, based on the previously developed MWS-25 self-loading sniper rifle. The new design is available in two chamberings: .223 Remington / 5.56x45mm NATO and .300 AAC Blackout.

UKM-2020S universal machine gun and MWS-15 automatic carbine.
Photo. Robert Czulda/Defence24

ZMT also displayed the Alex-338 sniper rifle in 8.6 mm (.338 Lapua Magnum) and the much newer MWS-25. The latter is available in .308 Winchester / 7.62x51mm NATO and 6.5 Creedmoor, with barrel lengths ranging from 13 to 20 inches.

Alex-338 sniper rifle from ZM Tarnów.
Photo. Robert Czulda/Defence24
MWS-25 sniper rifle.
Photo. Robert Czulda/Defence24

The Radom Weapons Factory showcased its flagship product in the form of several variants of the Grot automatic rifle, the older Beryl, VIS100 pistols, as well as the modular self-loading pistol MPS released last year.

The offer of the Weapons Factory in Radom presents various varieties of the Grot and Beryl rifles as well as VIS100 and MPS pistols.
Photo. Robert Czulda/Defence24

The PGZ booth also featured products from many other companies within the group, such as Maskpol, Belma, PCO, Nitrochem, and Dezamet. These included various models of tactical vests, warheads, explosives, gas masks, observation-sighting devices, and ammunition.

The offer of Belma companies (warheads and Tulipan anti-bullet mine) and ZM Dezamet (155 mm artillery ammunition and 120 mm mortar ammunition).
Photo. Robert Czulda/Defence24
Maskpol's offer for WDS 2024 included protective masks, composite helmets and various types of tactical vests.
Photo. Robert Czulda/Defence24
PCO offer for WDS 2024.
Photo. Robert Czulda/Defence24
Nitrochem's offer for WDS 2024.
Photo. Robert Czulda/Defence24
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