The process of forming the Territorial Defence units, established during the peacetime, entails a need to provide them with relevant equipment. This is reflected within the updated Technical Modernization Plan which has recently undergone amendments, according to which Territorial Defence branch became one of the priority programmes. Several billion zlotys are expected to be spent on equipping the new formation, including ca. PLN 2 billion until the year 2019.
ZM Tarnów company has prepared an offer of equipment that could be ordered by the Territorial Defence component. In its majority, the offer in question, within its content, overlaps the equipment inventory which is being used by the operational units at the moment. Here, a good example may be seen in the UKM-2000P machine guns or BOR sniper rifles, with both weapons utilizing the 7.62×51 mm NATO round. The plans pertaining to introduction of the aforesaid armament into the Territorial Defence units’ inventory, within the framework of the prioritized programme, were announced, during the MSPO 2016 Defence Salon, by Col. Krzysztof Zielski of the Polish Army’s General Staff, when he was discussing the initial assumptions of the redefined Technical Modernization Plan.
The Tarnów based facility is also ready to supply two other types of sniper rifles, using stronger rounds: Alex-338 utilizing the .338 Lapua Magnum ammunition, and anti-material Tor rifle, using the .50-cal round. Not only is the latter weapon destined to be used against the enemy personnel, as it may also be applied in scenarios in which light armoured vehicles or other hardware need to be neutralized. 12.7 mm rifles are referred to as “anti-material” weaponry, since they may be used to act against optronic sensors of combat vehicles or to destroy electronic warfare assets used by the adversary.
Tor rifles are already being used by the regular units of the Polish Army, they may also be integrated with a variety of sights, including optronic daytime/nighttime optics. The Tarnów-based facility also began works related to development of another anti-material rifle, known under the name of “Tor-2”. It is to be 3 kilograms lighter and coupled together with a 5-rounds magazine. Use of the anti-material rifles is well embedded within the concept of scattered tactics adopted by the small units of the Territorial Defence component, having only light armament and equipment at their disposal.
ZM Tarnów company has also made some relevant steps to expand its operations on the export market. Among the products which are being sold abroad, one may find sniper rifles – both the 7.62 Alex, as well as the .50-cal Tor rifles, along with the export variant of the UKM-2000 general purpose machine gun. Representatives of the company stress the fact that countries of the Middle East, Asia and Africa can be found within the group of the export customers. In Europe, on the other hand, Bulgaria is the main customer of the ZM Tarnów company. The officials assume that they are going to earn PLN 30 million from export sales this year, while PLN 100 million exports income value is expected to be achieved next year. Besides the sniper rifles and machine guns, ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft system is also a popular product abroad. Nonetheless, details pertaining to the transactions are not disclosed, due to the trade secrets.
According to the initial assumptions, mortars are also going to be included in the inventory of the Polish Territorial Defence units. Tarnów-based facility offers the LM-60K and LM-60D mortars, the purpose of which is to act as support weaponry at the level of smaller elements (squad/platoons).
The ZM Tarnów’s offer also includes the RGP-40 40 mm Grenade Launchers. They may be used to act against targets at distances of up to 400 meters with the use of low velocity rounds compliant with the NATO standards (40x46 mm). In case of the medium velocity round, the weapon’s range is extended up to 800 meters.
WKM-B heavy .50-cal machine guns may also be included in the equipment package which is destined to be used by the territorial defence units. Representatives of the ZM Tarnów company also emphasize the importance of the offer concerning the combined missile-artillery anti aircraft systems – ZUR-23-2KG – which are using the 23 mm cannons coupled with the Grom/Piorun MANPADS. Systems of this type may be transported by lightweight 4×4 vehicles, they also may receive targeting data from external sources.
The offer presented by the company also features the LOOK container-based systems. They may be fitted with ZSMU-1276 remote controlled gun stations, armed with .50-cal or 7.62 mm machine guns or 40 mm Grenade Launchers, and daytime/night-time observation systems. The said system could be utilized for the purpose of reinforcing the protection provided to important infrastructure in dangerous situations. ZM Tarnów company also developed and manufacture training facilities for conducting basic and advanced firearms training for 9 mm pistols and 5.56 carbines. They are referred to as “container based shooting ranges’, and development of these systems has been initiated with the Territorial Defence units in mind. The system makes it possible to conduct firearms training with live ammunition, in places where no fixed infrastructure exists. Most of the Territorial Defence trainings are to take place at the element level (companies within the individual districts), with the elements usually stationed far away from the shooting ranges.
Mobile shooting range, in its current form, is used to conduct training activities involving the 5.56×45 mm assault rifles (such as Beryl or Mini-Beryl) as well as the machine and semi-automatic pistols. This means that complete training involving the standard individual small arms is possible to be conducted. The range is equipped with laser and simulation systems making it possible to conduct simulated training at distance of up to 200 meters. Moreover, it also allows the soldiers to train with the night vision systems, such as the MU-3M monoculars supplied by PCO S.A. This kind of equipment for the Territorial Defence branch could also be useful for the uniformed services, including Border Guard or Police, which often operate away from stationary shooting ranges.