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Industry

Wisła Missile Defence System Growing Stronger with IBCS

IBCS S-280
Elements of the IBCS system
Photo. Northrop Grumman

The Armament Agency announced that further elements of the IBCS air defence C2 system have been delivered. The IBCS system has been procured by Poland within the framework of Phase I of the Wisła programme.

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The deliveries completed refer to the second battery of the Wisła air/missile defence system, and they include the S-280 EOC, IFCN radio relays, and C2 stations. Poland has already received some of the IBCS elements procured for Wisła, while the soldiers of the 3rd "Warszawska" Air/Missile Defence Brigade went through training related to the use of this system.

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Poland procured elements of the IBCS system for two Patriot batteries (four fire units) as the first export customer. The Patriot batteries in question are being acquired within the framework of the Wisła MRAD programme. Recently initial operational readiness has been gained by IBCS in the US Army. The system has also been in full-scale production since a couple of months.

Poland is willing to continue procurement of the IBCS system elements during the second phase of the Wisła programme. It is also expected to be integrated with the Narew air defence system. The procurement of the IBCS suite for both these programmes would be finalized following a different formula, with greater involvement of the Polish industry, and in configuration fully compliant with the Polish requirements. For the first stage of the Wisła programme, the IBCS suite comes in a configuration similar to the American one, with the Polish elements, including communication nodes and command cabins, being contracted separately, with the Polish industry. The Polish-made elements would be delivered after all elements procured in the US are delivered too. Recently Poland received approval from the US to procure elements of the Patriot system integrated with IBCS (such as launchers and radars) for the second phase of the Wisła programme.

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The assumption for IBCS is an air defence management and command system that is to adopt the "any sensor, best shooter" principle. Thanks to the fact above, the air defence assets integrated with IBCS may also make use of a variety of sensors and data fusion.

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For instance, the IBCS-integrated US Patriot batteries will be able to use data fed from the Sentinel radars. The Polish Patriot systems will be allowed to use data fed from the Bystra radars - expected to be integrated within the IBCS network. Furthermore, if cheaper assets come alongside the Patriot missiles (CAMM-ER in Poland, IFPC in the US), then they could be used to destroy targets detected by the Patriot radars, provided they enter the range. This will significantly increase the capabilities of the air defence assets. Other elements of the battlespace environment would also be integrated within IBCS, including the Polish PET-PCL/SPL and P-18PL early warning radars, or the F-35 MRCA.

Ultimately, the use of IBCS in the US military is to be expanded, as rocket artillery assets could also be integrated with the IBCS's network. This, consequently, would expand the multi-domain capabilities. The first tests within that scope have already taken place.

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