Land Forces

Polish Ministry of Defence: 16 Kruk Attack Helicopters and 200 UAV Systems - To Be Acquired before 2022

Image Credit: Rafał Surdacki/Defence24
Image Credit: Rafał Surdacki/Defence24

Polish Ministry of Defence announced that until the year 2022 it is planned that 16 Kruk attack helicopters are going to be acquired, with subsequent 16 examples to be procured following that period. 

According to the statement issued by the Polish Ministry of Defence, within the framework of the Kruk programme, it is planned that 16 helicopters are acquired before 2022, and another 16 examples would be procured later. The Ministry stresses the fact that acquisition of the attack helicopters shall be synchronized with introduction of the new air defence system. Polish MoD pointed to options of international cooperation within that scope too.

Simultaneously, in order to implement the said programme, considering the joint EU security policy, talks began at the governmental level, also involving the Italians. It is also important that the potential common helicopter platform may constitute an example of good industrial cooperation, based on mutual trust. The aforesaid direction and initiative will form an occasion to efficiently and effectively construct and shape the security space within the EU and NATO.

Polish Ministry of Defence

Kruk programme is to make it possible to find and select a successor for the obsolete Soviet-made Mi-24 attack helicopters, and to introduce the said modern design into the inventory of the Polish Army. Col. Stanisław Curyło of the Armament Inspectorate recently announced that relevant contract concerning the gunships is going to be signed in 2017, and the deliveries would be scheduled two years after that.

The Ministry also announced that before 2022, it is willing to acquire about 200 reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering UAV systems of a variety of classes.

Meanwhile R&D works, the goal of which is to create tactical warhead-fitted drones, are also being gradually completed. The implementation of the aforesaid goal is going to take place on the basis of the potential that remains at disposal of the PGZ company. Potential low cost of acquisition (PLN 30 thousand per single unit) will make it possible to procure, within the budgetary framework, more than 1000 drones, as it had been declared before.

Polish Ministry of Defence

On the other hand, when it comes to the Naval programmes, next year “Miecznik” class coastal defence vessel programme is going to be initiated, with simultaneous continuation of the “Kormoran” vessel development works.  “At the same time, we are fairly advanced in the negotiation on the potential acquisition of a new submarine, jointly with the Norwegian partner”.- as the Ministry announced.

The release issued by the MoD shows that five modernization areas have been treated with a higher priority, namely: air defence, Navy, cyber-security, armoured forces and territorial defence. The expenditure, the goal of which is to achieve the goals within the five areas above, constitute around 60% of the whole budget which is to be used for the purpose of modernizing the Army in the period between 2017 and 2022.

Around 1/4 of the modernization expenditure is going to cover, by 2022, the air defence programme.  The release issued by the MoD constitutes a correction of the reports published by Radio ZET and TVN 24. Both of these outlets suggested that the technical modernization programme is delayed and has undergone significant cuts.