The Armament Inspectorate has concluded an agreement with the PIT-RADWAR company, pertaining procurement of the Poprad VSHORAD systems for the Polish Army. The deliveries are scheduled to begin between 2017 and 2018, while the final examples are to be delivered in 2021. The Polish Army is going to receive 77 new systems, along with two properly tailored vehicles, coming from the batch used to implement the final solutions. Hence, in total, the Polish Army will have 79 Poprad systems at its disposal.
The value of the contract, signed in presence of Bartosz Kownacki (MoD’s Secretary of State) and Ryszard Kardasz (President of the PIT-RADWAR company) is contained in an amount of PLN 1.083 billion. 25% of that amount is going to be paid from this year’s MoD’s budget, in order to raise the amount of money that has been used throughout 2015.
Poprad is a self-propelled anti-aircraft system, based on the AMZ-Kutno Żubr-P platform. The vehicle is armed with 4 Grom short range missiles, allowing the system to act against targets flying at altitudes of up to 3.5 kilometres, at a distances of up to 5.5 kilometres from the launch point. The system has additional four missiles at its disposal, however these projectiles are stored in the transport crates.
Prospectively, Poprad systems are also going to be armed with the modernized Piorun missiles, offering expanded range and modified guidance system. The launchers are fitted with a central distribution system for the coolant that is used to decrease the temperature of the IR guidance systems.
The combat module of the Poprad anti-aircraft system features an optronic device equipped with visible spectrum and thermal vision cameras, coupled with a laser rangefinder. The device also utilizes the IFF IKZ-02 interrogator, which is being manufactured by the PIT-RADWAR company. The system is capable of autonomously neutralizing airborne threats, meaning that it is able to carry out detection, identification and attacks on its own. Poprad also offers an option of acting as a part of an integrated air-defence system.
Poprad system has additionally been fitted with a fire-control system, and a system which allows the weapon to automatically track the targets, visually. Moreover, the vehicle is equipped with radio and wire communication suites. The crew includes 2 persons – driver and operator. The whole control is realized with the use of the operator’s panel, which may be placed both in the cabin, as well as outside the vehicle.
Poprad is capable of receiving the target coordinates and commands to open fire, coming from an external source, e.g. a radar. However, considering the way in which the system operates, it is not important what medium or source is going to be used to provide the targeting information. Hence, the system may cooperate with the Soła radars, offered as a typical means of radar detection for the Poprad suite. However, Poprad may also utilize the data provided by radars that are going to be prospectively used by the Narew VSHORAD or Wisła medium range systems. The operator has access to the radar imaging data received from the command vehicle. The image is presented besides the visual data provided by the optronic sensor.
Poprad also utilizes an INS navigation system integrated with GPS. Once a firing position is taken, the operator is able to provide the positioning data to the command system, either directly, or via the command vehicle. Poprad has been designed in a way, which ensures that the time required to gain readiness is as short as possible – meaning that time required to deploy the combat module from under the covers is quite short.
The above-described system is going to become a part of the short range air defence systems, used in the Polish Army. It is going to be used to protect sensitive infrastructure and battle groups. According to the basic assumptions, three Poprad platoons are going to become a part of the Army’s air defence units, while the remaining platforms are going to be distributed among the mechanized and armoured units. Introduction of this type of air defence systems is going to make it possible to enhance the direct air defence capabilities of the motorized units, which up until now have been using the Grom portable launchers, complemented with towed artillery-missile anti aircraft systems, also in a variant mounted on the heavy-duty vehicles (such as the Hibneryt system).