MSPO 2016: PGZ and Thales - Joint Manufacturing Effort Related to the Induction Rocket System

During the MSPO defence exhibition held in Kielce, representatives of the Polish Armament Group (Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa, PGZ) and of the French TDA company, owned by Thales, announced that manufacturing cooperation is about to be initiated, with involvement of the Polish domestic industry, pertaining to the induction rocket systems. Such rockets are expected to be manufactured in order to meet the needs of the Polish Army, however reaching the export markets is also a goal for the companies. The weaponry in question is going to be manufactured at the Mesko S.A. facility.

The event of signing the collaboration memorandum was defined to be another example of effectiveness of the actions undertaken by the Polish Armament Group, within the scope of procuring the new technologies and development of the export capabilities, as it was stated by the President of the PGZ Company, Arkadiusz Siwko. Siwko claimed that collaboration with the French partner is going to expand the expertise of the PGZ Group companies. The representative of the Polish entity also noted that the Group’s offer would become more attractive, stating that involvement in joint initiatives with foreign partners, as Thales, significantly raises the level of development of the Polish defence industry. Siwko additionally noted that the above state is proven by the fact that a memorandum of understanding has been signed, concerning the manufacturing process related to rockets that are to be exported to other European States. President of the PGZ S.A. company expressed his satisfaction, arguing that the concluded agreement consolidates the relationship established between the Polish Armament Group and the Thales company.

Siwko also said that the concluded memorandum also constitutes an example of steps taken by the Group, the aim of which would be to procure modern technologies and expand the export offer. On the other hand, Paweł Piotrowski, President of the Board at the Thales Polska company, argued that joint production capacity remaining at hand of Thales and PGZ, along with the benefits brought by collaboration, would create new options within the scope of export, allowing the companies to establish a stable manufacturing capability when it comes to the equipment that could be used to equip the Polish helicopter fleet, should a decision be taken to introduce the induction rockets into the inventory.

On the basis of the said agreement Poland is going to become a manufacturer of the modern IRS rockets, as the document also entails a transfer of the relevant technologies. Within the framework of the agreement concluded, options related to production of the IRS guidance systems are going to be examined.

IRS (Induction Rocket System) is a name for a product family of new generation guided missiles and unguided rockets, utilizing electronics and wireless technologies. Thanks to the wireless connectivity, Foreign Object Damage risks are significantly diminished., same applies to the risks related to unexploded ordnance or accidental electromagnetic detonations. The IRS system rockets are also protected from being used as a component of the IEDs, or from being launched by the enemy.

The IRS-system-featuring ordnance is being used by the Armed Forces of France, also as the armament for the attack helicopters. The IRS rockets replace the classic, conventional unguided ordnance and have already been used in combat, in Afghanistan, Libya and in Mali. According to the representatives of the Thales company, these rockets have accuracy better than their conventional counterparts, they may also be fitted with a laser-guidance unit or programmable warheads.

The rockets, according to the basic design, are destined to act against a variety of targets at distances between 500 and 6000 meters. Not only can the IRS system be utilized by helicopters, as it may also be integrated with attack aircraft or UAV systems, which has also been made possible thanks to the fact that the rocket does not weigh much and has small dimensions. A variety of IRS launchers is also being offered, with the launcher holding from 2 to 22 projectiles. The rocket may be utilized during the low level flight or during the CAS operations.