Deputy Minister of Defence, Bartosz Kownacki, announced that the first elements of the company-level fire modules utilizing the Rak self-propelled mortar are going to receive the vehicles this week. The mortars are going to be delivered to the 17th “Wielkopolska” Mechanized Brigade (and ultimately, they would become a part of support company in one of the Rosomak APC battalions).
The Deputy Minister reminded that the delivery would be completed thanks to conclusion of an agreement on 28th April 2016, the goal of which was to manufacture and deliver equipment for 8 support companies, each including 8 SMK120 Rak effectors and support platforms. Thanks to implementation of the aforesaid agreement, the Polish Army would receive an entirely new armament system that did not remain at disposal of the Polish Armed Forces up until now.
The contract covers procurement of 64 mortars and 32 artillery command vehicles, and it is expected to be finalized and implemented within the period between 2017 and 2019. Both of the aforesaid components are based on the same carrier, which leads to simplification of any maintenance or logistical issues that could potentially emerge within the units operating the new equipment. These units, at the same time, are also utilizing wheeled Rosomak APCs, which constitute the base for the new mortar system. 17th “Wielkopolska” Mechanized Brigade is going to be the first element receiving the vehicles.
Rak self-propelled automatic mortar is an original Polish design, created by Huta Stalowa Wola S.A. Besides some imported components, such as the TALIN 5000 INS with a GPS module and the odometer, all of the design solutions embedded within the turret have been designed in Poland and are being manufactured by the Polish industry. Fire control systems and automated command suite remain entirely Polish. They are an evolutionary derivate of the WB Electronics “Topaz” system, applied in case of modernized artillery platforms, such as 2S1 Gvozdika or wz. 77 Dana systems.
“Rak” Mortar has been tailored to be used together with the tactical reconnaissance solutions operated by the Polish Armed Forces, and with other, varied assets that would provide the system with firing solutions. The mortar may become a part of a battery or a squadron, it could also be operated autonomously. The said system is also fully tailored for being operated in contaminated areas, after NBCR weaponry is employed. The rate of fire is as high as 10 rounds per minute, the mortar attains readiness to fire in 30 seconds upon receiving the target detection order. It takes the vehicle 15 seconds from the last shot to become ready to change its position, after the mission is accomplished.