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The Army Still In Need Of “Intelligent” Minefields. Second Attempt To Carry Out The Tender.

The Armament Inspectorate announced a tender procedure, the aim of which is to realize the design and development stage of the “Remotely Controlled Explosive Barrier System”, also known as “JARZĘBINA-S”. The previous tender had to be interrupted, due to the fact that too little finances were allocated to realize the project.

Defence Ministry's Chronic Disease – Underestimation of the Value of the Tenders

The “JARZĘBINA-S” procedure was initiated by the Armament Inspectorate for the first time in April this year. Ultimately, the tender was cancelled on 6th October this year, due to the fact that, according to the official release “The price related to the most favourable offer exceeded the amount which was intended to be allocated to realize the procurement procedure, and also due to the fact that there was no option of increasing that amount so that it matched the price of the best offer”.

This is yet another example of a procedure, within which the military specialists underestimated the price, expecting the amount required to be paid, in order to realize the assumed modernization initiatives, to be lower. Due to the above, execution of the important “JARZĘBINA-S” programme has been postponed, and 6 months of delay is expected (also when it comes to the need of financing the programme). This underestimation made it possible for the Ministry to present rich plans, without the actual financial coverage contained in the budget.

Probably, the Armament Inspectorate could have been aware of the insufficient funds as early as on 27th May 2015 – on the date when the individual subjects were to submit their requests, the aim of which was to make it possible for those subjects to take part in the proceedings. Ultimately, the tender was called off 4 months later (on 6th October). The invitation to take part was announced another two months later (27th November this year), while the deadline on which the requests, thanks to which the subjects may be included in the tender, has been now defined as 29th December 2015.

What does the Army want to buy?

Currently, the subject of the tender is to create a prototype of the “JARZĘBINA-S” remotely controlled mines system, along with the relevant technical documentation of the product. In April this year, not only did the Army want the contractor to manufacture the prototype, as also a model of the system was expected to be created. The development works, as it had been noted beforehand, is to be realized in several stages. The individual stages are to be finalized with respective research, confirming that the requirements defined by the Tactical and Technical assumptions pertaining the “Remotely Controlled JARZĘBINA-S Explosive Barrier System” are fulfilled.

The aim of these works was to make it possible for the Army to create “intelligent” anti-personnel barriers. The problem here is related to the process of constructing the system – the newly procured armament shall be compliant with the Ottawa convention, thus the “anti-personnel minefield” term is being avoided in the official releases and documents. It is also assumed that relevant warning related to the mines is also going to be applied. This is quite important, since the aforementioned agreement assumes that “classic” anti-personnel mines are banned.

“JARZĘBINA-S” is also going to notify the operators about the fact that an intruder has entered the danger zone. The targets may be eliminated remotely, after authorization provided by the operator. The whole system is to consist of effectors (remotely controlled explosives, warning and deterrence zone kits, and a tool making it possible to place the explosive), receptors (detection and location systems, observation systems) and a decision making sub-system (control system, a set of auxiliary power units for the explosives and devices, battery charger, communications suite, field power generation station and camouflage for the control station).