MSPO 2021: Poland Signs the Narew System Contract

Image Credit: Tomasz Głowacki/
Image Credit: Tomasz Głowacki/

Conclusion of the framework contract by the PGZ Group, concerning the acquisition of the Narew SHORAD (ZROP-KZ - Zestawy Rakietowe Obrony Powietrznej Krótkiego Zasięgu - Short-range Air Defence Missile Systems) system, has been the crowning event of the first day of the MSPO exhibition in Kielce. This is the most valuable and complex contract ever concluded, in the history of the Polish Defence Industry.

President of Poland - Andrzej Duda, and head of the Polish Ministry of Defence - Mariusz Błaszczak, also took part in the conclusion of the agreement, between the PGZ-Narew consortium, and the Armament Inspectorate. Mariusz Błaszczak and President at the PGZ Group, Sebastian Chwałek, signed the agreement. Defining the conditions of awarding the performance orders regarding the Narew system is the subject of the agreement. This refers to the development and delivery of components and subsystems for 23 SHORAD systems, and the above is also to include acquisition of technology and know-how, establishing of the industrial potential, project management, and integration of the system. 

I am happy that these contracts have been concluded. This translates into further progress in the modernization of our Armed Forces. We need to take into account the fact that the first contract, is a framework agreement concerning the Narew system subsystems, and that it is the most significant contract that is the most convoluted one in the history of the Polish Armed Forces. Several billion zlotys, with almost 400 launchers (...). Finally, we are on our way towards the completion of a serious task, of world-class level, and we are filling in the gaps of the air/missile defence system. The contract would remain valid for years. The contract is a framework agreement that would be filled with a series of agreements concerning the deliveries of specific elements of this system, supplied by the individual partners of the PGZ Narew consortium. This group of partners consists of our own, domestic, Polish businesses.

Andrzej Duda, President of Poland

I am very happy with the fact that the PGZ Group took on a challenge, and mission to integrate the SHORAD SAM systems that would be received by the Polish Armed Forces, and that would fill in the gaps in the air/missile defence system, and that would also, I hope, in the future become an export product offered by the PGZ Group. We hope that this would happen. I hope that Narew becomes a brand, within the PGZ Group, also being a Polish export brand in the future.

Mariusz Błaszczak, head of the Polish MoD

The primary components acquired for the Narew ZROP-KZ (SHORAD SAM) framework include the following elements:

  • Effectors - Missiles and launcher systems (missile exhibiting maximum range from 25 to 45-50 kilometers, with INS guidance system, independent from one, specific radar).
  • Radar systems, including:
    • SAJNA Multi-Functional Fire Control Radar;
    • P-18PL Early Target Detection Radar;
    • PET/PCL Passive Location Radars;
  • Command Centres, and Engagement Control Centres;
  • Mobile communications nodes;
  • Optoelectronic sensors;
  • Missile loading/transport vehicles;
  • Special-purpose vehicles;
  • Training and logistics packages.

"Narew" is the most significant contract that the Republic of Poland would pursue, and also the most important, strategically relevant procurement, that would be decisive for the future of the PGZ Group, and awarded to the Polish defence industry, being far more significant scale-wise than the "Miecznik", or "Regina" projects. Thanks to the implementation of the said project we would establish new, and develop already owned competencies in the areas of precision-guided armament, communications, radar technology, and a number of other segments of our activities. We would use the acquired expertise for lifecycle management of those systems, and for future development of Poland's air defence capabilities.

Sebastian Chwałek, President of the Management Board at PGZ S.A.

The framework agreement concluded paves the way towards further performance memoranda between the Ordering Party and the PGZ-Narew consortium, for whom the negotiation is about to commence. Thus, the exact value of the contract has not been disclosed yet. The estimates mentioned amounts ranging from 30 to 60 billion zlotys. One should note that the acquisition of 23 Narew batteries translates into the procurement of 46 fire units, with launchers, and multifunctional fire control radars. The system itself is also to have an expansive configuration that would include early warning radars, optoelectronic sensors, and so on. The contract value would also include the funds needed to establish the industrial potential, e.g. through a transfer of technology related to the effector.

The Narew system is to become a part of the inventory of the 3rd “Warszawska” Air Defence Missile Brigade (complementing its Wisła assets), but it is also to be delivered to 4 air defence regiments of the Land Forces (including the newly formed element of the 18th Mechanized Division). It is also possible that Narew assets would also be received by some of the coastal elements of the Navy. The Land Forces would be the primary user nonetheless. Narew is going to replace the Kub, and (partially) Osa systems in the Army. In the Air Force SAM elements Narew system would replace the legacy Neva-SC SAM. 

According to the contractual assumptions, the contracting of all of the Narew elements would be coordinated, and it shall be finalized in 2023. This means that the first live test launch could take place, involving a fully integrated system, in 2026. The formula adopted (with framework agreement and derivative performance agreements) is to minimize the risks associated with on-time commissioning of the air defence systems in the Polish Armed Forces. Secondly, it makes it possible to optimize the project management processes, on both the military, as well as the industrial side. The key component of the system - the effector - would be acquired via a transfer of technology involving a foreign partner. The PGZ-NAREW consortium is currently engaged in talks with potential suppliers. The negotiation is aimed at obtaining the broadest possible scope of know-how and expertise required to manufacture and develop short-range surface-to-air missiles, within the framework of the consortium.

Solutions implemented in the Polish military during the introduction of the Wisła system would also be used to create the Narew solution. In practical terms, the above probably refers to the IBCS battle management system. The PGZ Group emphasizes the fact that during the Narew programme it would be making use of experience gathered during the Wisła project - including the expertise pertaining to the domestically-developed radar systems being integrated with the C2 suite that would be used by Narew. Let us recall the fact that recently, offset-commitment agreements have been signed - concerning the Wisła programme.

The PGZ's Narew consortium also declared that it would explore the possibilities of acquiring funds and establishing an R&D project, aimed at creating a domestically-developed system of this class. That would make it possible to fully integrate air defence solutions, such as radars, VSHORAD systems, and other products currently operated by the Polish military. It is thus possible that Narew systems would, at least to some extent, utilize a domestically-developed C2 solution. 

The PGZ-Narew consortium includes the following entities: Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa S.A. [Polish Armament Group] (leader of the consortium), Huta Stalowa Wola S.A., Jelcz SP. Z O.O., MESKO S.A., Ośrodek Badawczo-Rozwojowy Centrum Techniki Morskiej S.A. - Maritime Technology Centre Research and Development Facility S.A., PCO S.A., PIT-RADWAR S.A., WZŁ No. 1 S.A., Wojskowe Zakłady Uzbrojenia S.A. [Military Armament Works] WZE S.A. [Mlitary Electronic Works], and ZM Tarnów S.A. The initiative may also involve other PGZ Group entities, and a number of privately-owned businesses, R&D facilities, as well as the academia.