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Nov 30

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for the Polish Armed Forces

On 30th November 2018, an agreement was signed between the Polish Armament Group consortium and the National Ministry of Defence Armament Inspectorate on the supply of 12 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Systems of short range tactical class ORLIK. The consortium consisting of PGZ S.A, WZL No. 2 and PIT-RADWAR presented The Polish Armed Forces with an offer for PGZ-19R system entirely designed and manufactured in Poland.

Unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, are playing an increasingly significant role in the contemporary battleground. World’s leading armament companies have been developing their competences in this field. Today, we can proudly announce that The Polish Armament Group have also joined this club by offering fully modern solutions which will be used by the Polish Armed Forces – said Sebastian Chwałek, the Vice-president of PGZ S.A, after signing the contract.

Signing the agreement is a result of the decision made in 2016 on building by PGZ the capabilities in the scope of designing and manufacturing the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Back then the Competence Centre for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Wojskowe Zakłady Lotnicze No.2 S.A in Bydgoszcz was established. The Centre performs the works on innovative UAV systems at PGZ Capital Group level.

The result of these activities is the first fully Polish Unmanned Aerial Vehicle of short range tactical class. Within the ‘Orlik” programme, PGZ consortium offered The Polish Armed Forces PGZ-19R system entirely designed and manufactured in Poland. The system is used for visual reconnaissance on a wide area in various terrain and weather conditions, day and night. The proposed UAV system, in compliance with the Purchaser’s requirements, consists of 11 elements creating the following set:

  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) – 5 items,
  • Mobile Take-off Launcher,
  • Logistic car,
  • Ground Control Station,
  • Ground Terminal Data,
  • Portable Video Terminal,
  • Remote Video Terminal.

Apart from the UAV sets, elements supporting the operation and usage of the sets are to be provided within the order:

  • Integrated Training System,
  • Integrated Logistics System,
  • Logistics and training initiating packages.

The order accounts for 12 UAV sets:

  • basic (8 sets), in years 2021-2023,
  • option (4 sets), in years 2023-2026.

The main elements of the system offered by PGZ include: unmanned aerial vehicles with
a combustion or hybrid drive and the ground control station. The element integrating both of these components is the communication and data transmission system based on the ground terminal data. Ground control station enables the operator to remotely control the UAV and manage the payload (e.g. control of camera and sensors). PGZ-19R system was designed to be entirely independent of the ground infrastructure (airports).

The system is characterized by considerable mobility. The ground control station and logistic car were built on the basis of 15 feet containers located on high mobility cars. The ground data terminal and pneumatic launcher, however, are built on trailers pulled by these cars. The mobile configuration of the set allows for the land, sea and air transport.

The maximum take-off weight of UAV amounts to 90 kg, while the weighing capacity – 20 kg. The payload consists of the optoelectronic head comprising of day-time camera, infrared camera, laser rengefinder and laser target indicator. Moreover, PGZ-19R is equipped with SAR slotted radar of a very high frequency. The unmanned vehicle can operate in the air up to 12 hours at the altitude up to 5000 metres. The landing proceeds in a classical manner or with a parachute.

Apart from PGZ-19R, the Polish Armament Group has at its disposal solutions concerning miniature unmanned vehicles, including the following: NeoX with a maximum take-off weight not exceeding 11 kg and communication range up to 30 km, and smaller motor-rotors of the AtraX family, which besides military applications may also be helpful to civilian users.

The Polish Armament Group is considering the submission to the MOD a concept on the development and manufacture of medium range unmanned aerial vehicles within the “Gryf” programme. The research and development works on the light unmanned aerial vehicles for the purposes of the uniformed services and civilian market are pursued simultaneously.

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The Polish Armament Group (PGZ) is the leader of the Polish industry and one of the biggest defence consortiums in Europe. It gathers more than 60 companies (branches: defence, shipbuilding, new technologies), producing annual revenues of 5 billion zloty. Thanks to the use of the potential of technology Polonization, close cooperation with the Polish science and the emphasis on the research and development process, PGZ offers innovative products enhancing safety. PGZ offers, e.g. a very short range air defence system with the “Poprad” set and “Soła” radar; portable anti-aircraft “Grom” and “Piorun” rocket sets; “Pilica” anti-aircraft rocket-artillery system of a very short range; PGZ-19R unmanned aerial vehicle systems; wheeled armoured personnel carrier “Rosomak”; self-propelled mortar “Rak”; “Krab” artillery system with a self-propelled gun-howitzer; soldier personal equipment with “Beryl” and “Grot” automatic guns. PGZ also holds competences in the scope of design, building and equipping the marine vessels. Moreover, PGZ modernizes and services vehicles, aircraft, helicopters, vessels (also the equipment from the former USSR). In the upcoming years, PGZ is going to develop space and satellite technologies as well as cybertechnologies.