Air Defense: The Polish Version

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December 13, 2016: Poland is buying six batteries of the locally designed and produced PSRA Pilica SHORAD (short-range air defense system). This is a towed ZUR-23-2SP 23mm autocannon/missile system that can be set up in minutes and has optical and heat sensors as well as a laser range-finder for the operator to use either the dual 23mm autocannon or two Grom short range heat-seeking missiles to hit any aircraft within five kilometers. Each battery has six fire units plus a search radar. The fire units can operate independently of the radar. Each battery costs $30 million and includes missile reloads and maintenance equipment. Delivery will take place between 2019 and 2022.

During decades of occupation by Russia after World War II Poland produced a lot of Russian weapons and the Polish versions were often considered superior. Russian occupation ended in 1990 as did much of the licensed production of Russian weapons. The Poles had no problem developing their own designs that were similar, but legal alternatives, to Russian designs. Pilica is an example of this, as the Grom missiles are similar to the Russian SA-18 Poland used to manufacture under license. Poland is offering Pilica to export customers and there is a lot of interest as this is an ideal weapon for protecting from terrorist threats as well as battlefield use.

 


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