Dec 12, 2013

Poland Seeks To Boost Drone Fleet

As early as next year, Warsaw could select a supplier for a tactical Army drone, part of Poland’s push to boost domestic industry and military capability in unmanned aerial vehicles.
The tactical UAV, with a requested range of 200 kilometers, would be used at the brigade and division level.
Depending on what the budget will be, the planned acquisition would total eight to 12 sets consisting of four aircraft in a set.
The Polish companies are meetingDassault, EADS, Safran’s Sagem and Thales, and military officers, in a plan to select a European partner on the UAV drive.
Warsaw sees drones as a major requirement, and wants to move ahead on development and production, including platforms and ground stations.
Poland is looking to acquire four systems comprising MALE, tactical, mini and micro UAVs.
The main task is Polish territorial protection, but the requirement for the MALE UAV includes the possibility of installing satellite communications gear.
Polish industry has developed autopilot, communication links, optronics and other payloads for UAVs bought from Israel and the US. Composite material is another area of domestic development.
The aim now is to build Polish UAVs with European industrial cooperation.
A second priority for Polish forces is space imagery.
A need for fast service led to a win by Polish firm Flytronic, which has delivered 12 sets of its FlyEye mini-UAV to the Polish Army.
Israeli UAVs flown by the Polish forces include the Aerostar and Orbiter mini-UAVs from Aeronautics Defense Systems.
Poland also flies the ScanEagle, built by a subsidiary of Boeing.
Warsaw also is part of the Weimar Triangle, a political cooperation forum formed by France, Germany and Poland in 1991. That also is seen as a way to cooperate on a European drone.
In equipment, Warsaw is looking to acquire aerial refueling aircraft and 70 Army helicopters.
Poland last month said it has bought 119 Leopard tanks for €180 million from Germany, for delivery in 2014 and 2015. Those vehicles are in addition to the 128 Leopards to be overhauled.

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