New Aircraft and a New Vessel for the Polish Border Guard?

  • <p>Fot. Arkadiusz Dwulatek/MON</p>
    <p>Fot. Arkadiusz Dwulatek/MON</p>

“At the moment, the Border Guard is taking steps to initiate a public procurement procedure, the aim of which would be to acquire two multi-engine turbine-driven aircraft, along with additional equipment required to carry our flights over the sea. […] Moreover, the Border Guard is carrying out conceptual work within the scope of designing a seagoing vessel which could also be operated by the Polish Armed Forces.” – as it was announced in a reply to parliamentary question, by the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Interior and Administration, Sebastian Chwałek.

Spokesperson for the Border Guard HQ, Border Guard Lt. Col. Agnieszka Golias, when answering our questions, stated that the public procurement procedure, the aim of which would be to acquire the new aircraft, is at its preparation stage, and has not yet been announced. Meanwhile, the details related to the equipment shall be contained within the terms of reference. Whereas Vice-Minister Sebastian Chwałek, issuing his response to the question submitted by MP Paweł Olszewski, noted that the procedure of acquiring the two aircraft in question would be carried out in a form of an unlimited tender.

The aircraft that are to be procured are defined as two turbine-propelled multi-engined airframes, with additional equipment delivered, required to carry out maritime missions, including long-distance flights. The said aircraft will be utilized for the purpose of protecting the sea border and the Polish economic zone. Furthermore, the assets in question will also be operated to protect the external borders of the European Union, within the framework of joint operations coordinated by Frontex. The delivery deadline will be published on the date when the tender is announced.

BG lt. col. Agnieszka Golias

It is worth noting that since 2006, the Border Guard of Poland has been operating the PZL M28-05 Skytruck aircraft, fitted with the ARS-400M radar system with a range of 220 kilometres, complemented with FLIR Star Safire II system, IR/UV maritime scanner and avionics including a laser gyroscope-based navigation suite.  

Bryza aircraft are also being operated by the 44th Naval Aviation Base, and it should also be noted that the older Navy’s M28 Bryza 1R airframes have gone through a modernization programme, with the upgrades including engine replacement – former TWD-10B engine with three bladed propeller has been replaced with the new PZL-10S powerplant coupled with the five-bladed Hartzell propeller.

In the light of the fact above, it is probable that the new purchases will include two new PZL M-28-05 Skytruck aircraft that would complement the existing fleet.

Paweł Olszewski of the Civic Platform party also, within his enquiry, included a question, the goal of which was to clarify whether the current government is planning to acquire ships for the Polish Border Guard. Responding to that question, the Undersecretary of State at the Polish Ministry of Interior and Administration stated that conceptual works are being carried out, within the scope of designing a seagoing vessel, which could also potentially be utilized by the Polish Armed Forces. Chwałek noted that along with the design works, steps have also been undertaken to provide a source of financing for the aforesaid undertaking.

The above information has been confirmed by spokesperson for the Border Guard HQ, adding that “similarly as it happens in case of all of the other vessels, this ship would also be used in order to carry out tasks related to protection of the sea portion of the Polish border, supervise the use of the Polish territory within the Baltic Sea, and enforce the legal regulations remaining in force within the aforesaid areas”.

Currently, the missions above are being carried out by the KAPER class vessels, modified throughout the period between 2014 and 2015. It is assumed that these ships would be sufficient to secure the Border Guard’s needs throughout the upcoming 5 years. Kaper-class vessels are the SKS-40 class patrol ships created in the early 1990s for the Polish Maritime Authorities, as the assets that could be utilized to control the Polish Economic Zone. The first ship (SG-311) has been introduced into the Naval Border Guard Unit back in 1991, while the second vessel (SG-312) has begun its operations a year later.

At the moment, the deadline on which the design works pertaining to the new seagoing vessel for the Border Guard would be finished remains unknown.