Polish army receives more Poprad VSHORAD air defense systems

The Polish 15th “Giżycka” Mechanized Brigade has received additional Poprad SPZR self-propelled SAM systems from PIT-RADWAR S.A. The air defense squadron of that unit is currently receiving the new assets, the Polish Ministry of Defense announced.
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Poprad VSHORAD air defense system (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Another two vehicles fitted with Piorun/Grom MANPADS launchers have left the manufacturing facility in Warsaw, Defence24 reports. Earlier on, namely in mid-April, three vehicles as such have been received by the 15th “Giżycka” Mechanized Brigade. Poprads are delivered on time, in line with the schedule adopted for the year 2020. According to the plan made, the squadron is to receive nine vehicles as such in total.

SPZR Poprad is a self-propelled anti-aircraft missile system developed by PIT-RADWAR (formerly Bumar Elektronika) to provide the armed forces with short-range air defense capability. It uses heat-seeking missiles to detect, identify and defeat air targets flying at low or medium altitudes and very short distances. The Armament Inspectorate of the Polish Ministry of National Defence (MND) started negotiation with PIT-RADWAR to purchase Poprad missile systems, as part of the Polish Armed Forces’ Technical Modernisation Plan for the period from 2013 to 2022, in August 2015. An agreement worth PLN1.08bn ($278.7m) was signed in December 2015 for the delivery of 77 Poprad anti-aircraft rocket kits between 2018 and 2021. Until the end of 2019, the air defence elements of the Army have received 36 systems as such in total. They have been received by anti-aircraft regiments of three divisions. They are also being introduced into the inventory of some batteries of the anti-aircraft squadrons of the general military brigades. It is expected that 24 vehicles armed with such launchers are delivered in 2020, out of 77 series-manufactured examples ordered in December 2015.

The Poprad is operated by two crew members. It has four launch tubes and can carry up to eight missiles: four ready-to-fire and four in the boxes. It incorporates a built-in auxiliary power unit (APU) or battery unit. The system is armed with very short-range, homing guidance, anti-aircraft missiles such as Grom / Piorun. The 72mm, 10.5kg Grom man-portable air-defence systems (MANPADS) is manufactured by Poland’s ammunition manufacturer Zakłady Metalowe Mesko. The system is armed with 4 Grom or modernized Piorun VSHORAD missiles. The missiles are placed on a column mount installed within the cargo compartment of a Żubr vehicle that is extended when in a combat setting.

The Poprad systems have been fitted with optronic sensors, an auto tracker system, an IFF system, and an advanced drive system for the tracking/targeting unit designed by the Polish army and allowing for a rapid and precise target interception.