Polish Solutions Dedicated for the Narew System [REPORT]

PUBLISHED AT: Monday, 27 November 2017, 12:27
RZRA Liwiec
  • RZRA Liwiec

Antoni Macierewicz, accompanied by the higher command staff of the General Command of the Polish Armed Forces and by the representatives of the PGZ Group, has acquainted himself with the SDP-20 SAMOC air defence command system. The said solution is being operated by the troops hailing from the 3rd “Warszawska” SAM Brigade. The system was presented as a component of a combat unit, and within the demonstration the system’s capability of becoming a part of the new Narew SHORAD solution was also being presented.

3rd “Warszawska” SAM Brigade (Brygada Rakietowa Obrony Powietrznej) is one of the first units that is going to be armed with modern air/missile defence systems replacing the old inventory. This is caused by the fact that the aforesaid element works towards ensuring that air defence capacity remains available within the territory of Poland. The new equipment in question would be procured within the scope of the Wisła programme (medium range system capable of acting against targets at distances of up to 100 kilometres), as well as within the framework of the Narew programme (systems destined to act against airborne targets or missiles at distances ranging from 25 to 40 kilometres).

3rd SAM Brigade consists of six squadrons. The unit is currently utilizing S-125SC Newa-SC medium range and S-200C Vega medium-to-high altitude surface-to-air missile systems. These Soviet SAM solutions have, throughout the recent years, undergone significant modernization. The said upgrades were carried out by the Polish scientific and industrial entities. Meanwhile, Grom MANPADS and AAA are used to provide the individual elements of the brigade with an ability to defend themselves from any direct threats they could potentially face.

However, to make the air defence system effective as a whole, it needs to include a number of elements, such as radars or C4ISR systems. Effectors are not enough to render the SAM solution lethal. SDP-20 SAMOC was the C4ISR solution proposed and presented within the scope of fire control training event.

SAMOC Mobile Command Station for the Missile Air Defence Units is a domestically developed system. The suite has been designed through collaboration established by and between the military and the industry, with the latter being primarily represented by the PIT-RADWAR S.A. company. Surface To Air Missile Operations Center (SAMOC) consists of a C2 component, Battle Management Component, Combat Planning Group and Combat Logistical Support Planning Group. All of the above elements are arranged in two battle management and three operational cabins. Moreover, all of these elements are highly mobile. They have been designed to be operated at the level of Air/Missile Defence Brigade.

SAMOC is a solution that remains in possession of ability to function in numerous domains. The system may be, for instance, tasked with planning the composition or movement of the air/missile defence elements. Furthermore, it also acts as a fire control system for the elements connected to the network arranged around it. This is done on the basis of the orders received from the command stations at higher levels: CAOC, COP/AOC, ODN/CRC; and in collaboration with the remaining command stations deployed in the associated area.

SAMOC is also a good means that can be utilized for airborne threat assessment. It may be used monitor the operational activities carried out by the subordinated elements. The range of tools that altogether form the SAMOC suite allows for analysing of the situational context and operational planning. The system then could be utilized for the purpose of issuing orders, conducting command procedures or disseminate documents among the subordinated elements. SAMOC may also supervise the units assigned to it.

Once the Missile Engagement Zone becomes active, the target is locked-on, while the targeting data is transferred to the SAMOC system. Then the target is identified, while SAMOC indicates the missile assets that would be best suited for neutralization of the threat.


Interior of the SAMOC platform. Image Credit: PIT-RADWAR.

PRZELOT-SAMOC suite remains interoperational with the NATO air/missile defence systems and with the Newa and Vega solutions used domestically. Link 11B and Link 16B terminals remain available within the network.

The containers within which the system is placed have been designed with long periods of operation in mind, regardless of the weather conditions (with external temperatures ranging from -30 to +50 degrees centigrade). The cabins are fitted with an A/C system coupled with dehumidifier, UFS filtering system, internal-combustion heater, sanitary fan and an electrical heater. Furthermore, dosimeters and filtering fan (allowing for maintaining of overpressure inside) have also been provided. The containers are also isolated electromagnetically (60 dB attenuation within the bandwidth between 150 Hz and 1000 MHz), with the emission level being diminished and information being properly protected.

The system itself has been already proven operationally during a number of exercises (also involving a US Army Patriot system deployed to Poland). It turned out that the Polish solution is highly reliable and effective.

SDP-10N is another solution developed. Its purpose though, is different. Its design is dedicated to act as a suite supporting the Newa-SC squadrons. Meanwhile, Krug SAM missile systems were to be integrated with the SDP-10K solution, however, Krug system had already been decommissioned. SDP-10K is commonly referred to as the “little SAMOC”.

Read more: Future of the Polish Radar Technologies [REPORT]

The aforesaid systems have been designed to secure and support the C4ISR assets for the subordinated batteries. Furthermore, their purpose would be to process and visualize the airspace and tactical situation. The solutions mentioned above include control (KK-10) and command (KO-10) cabins. KO-10 is used to analyse the combat orders and to edit reports. KK-10, on the other hand, is used to act against specific airborne threats. This is done on the basis of the radar situational imagery complemented with the data provided by the local autonomous radar. The local radar is used to select the optimal effect on target and carry out initial guidance.

SDP-20 may be coupled with up to 12 SDP-10 squadron stations. Each and every SDP-10 platform consists of 1-2 work spaces.

SAMOC system programme began back in 2000. Even though it was facing significant problems with regards to financing of the R&D stage, the systems were ultimately introduced into use in the Polish military. Currently modified variants are being offered. They are to meet the assumptions of the process within which SHORAD capabilities are being established by Poland.

One of the objectives of the visit made by the Polish Defence Minister at the Warsaw unit was to take part in a meeting with the representatives of the PGZ Group’s companies. The meeting covered the problems related to the Narew SHORAD system and the offer placed by the PGZ Group. The entities belonging to the PGZ Group are offering a bunch of readymade or currently developed systems that could become building blocks for the Narew elements. Obviously, the said products would have to undergo proper modifications beforehand.

RZRA Liwiec

LIWIEC Artillery Reconnaissance (Firefinder) Radar System. Image Credit: R. Surdacki/Defence24.pl.

PIT-RADWAR is one of the leading domestic suppliers of professional electronics for the Polish military.  NUR-12 long range radars, TRS-15 and TRS-15C medium range radars, PRP-25 Gunica passive SIGINT systems, or Liwiec firefinder radars constitute the trademark products of the said enterprise.

When it comes to the command systems, the company offers primarily air defence solutions such as Dunaj (fusing the data received from radars deployed within the territory of Poland, also responsible for developing the RAP-U imagery). Other solutions include the showcased PRZELOT-SAMOC suite or Łowcza/Rega and Wołczenica systems (with the latter one used for processing of reconnaissance data provided by passive recce assets).

PIT-RADWAR proposes that WG-35 fire control vehicle is used within the Narew programme. The aforesaid platform has been designed as a component of the 35 mm AAA battery which is planned to be introduced within the framework of the Noteć VSHORAD programme. The system in question has been fitted with an integrated optronic tracking system that makes it possible to designate targets and enhances the process of managing the batteries composed out of up to 8 cannons (8 targeting channels). Artillery system could become an element of the asset that would be destined to be used to protect the SAMs.

Image Credit: PGZ.

Bystra deployable radar is yet another product offered by PIT-RADWAR. It is the first domestically developed multifunctional 3D AESA radar. Its purpose is to designate targets for SHORAD and VSHORAD class solutions. Bystra may be used in conjunction with automated C4ISR systems of different branches of the military. The station offers a capability of detecting hovering helicopters, UAV systems or artillery rounds/unguided rockets.

Bystra radar could be utilized at the first stage of implementation of the Narew programme, before the Sajna multifunctional radar reaches its full operational capability. Sajna is to become the ultimate radar solution for the aforesaid air defence suite. Macierewicz was also mentioning a possible scenario, within which the preliminary variant of the Narew system is introduced before the expected deadline. The Minister added that with regards to missiles the talks are in progress “mainly” with the British. The official probably was referring to the CAMM/CAMM-ER solution. It is assumed that the remaining components of the Narew system would be delivered by the domestic entities, including PIT-RADWAR.

The primary products that are being a focal point for the PIT-RADWAR company include multi-purpose radars for medium and short range SAM systems. These solutions are expected to utilize the latest semi-conductor, digital and ICT technologies. They are going to play the core role within the process of detecting the threat and passing the targeting data on to the new generation air defence systems, above all for the Narew suite.

It is also possible that the newly developed fire control radars known as Sajna would receive AESA GaN modules. The relevant technology could be acquired on the basis of an offset agreement or via a transfer entailed by the Wisła programme. This may be done to acquire capability to mass manufacture MMIC (Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit) elements. Without the MMIC technology the ability to create modern seekers for short and medium range missiles or modern radars would remain limited. Polish Ministry of Defence suggested that it would be interested in acquiring the said technology within the scope of the Wisla programme. 

P-18PL multifunctional radar designed for preliminary target detection is also being developed by the PIT-RADWAR company, along with the PCL/PET system for passive detection and localizing of airborne targets. The offer is complemented by a mobile long range 3D radar: RDL-45 Warta.

Meanwhile, Wojskowe Zakłady Łączności nr 1 S.A. [Military Communications Works] facility based in Zegrze, delivering a variety of radio, wired and satellite communications solutions for the Polish military, is offering a well known RWŁC-10/T mobile digital communications node that is a mobile telecommunications centre integrating the streaming and packet switching networks. It is a modular solution fitted with three HCLOS microwave transmission systems, offering a bandwidth of up to 34 Mb/s. The said system is operated within a frequency range between 1350 and 2700 MHz, which allows for maintaining communications at distances of up to 50 kilometres.

Bystra radar. Image Credit: PGZ.

MWŁ is another mobile communications node, classified as a system of new generation. MWŁ is an integrated digital system utilized at the operational and strategic level forming the framework for the communication system between the different branches of the military. This ensures interoperational capacity within the scope of audio and data transmissions. The aforesaid node may be used to handle the data traffic within a mobile automated air defence C4ISR system.

MWŁ uses Ethernet 100 Base-FX and 1000-Base-SX, Ethernet 10/100/1000 Base – T/TX with a RJ-Field connector, microwave connections allowing for attaining transfer speeds of up to 2000 Mb/s and single-mode and multimodal fibre-optical connections based on the CTOS connection. Furthermore, the node in question also utilizes broadband radio transmission with bandwidth of up to 8 Mbps as well as narrowband radio connectivity. Finally, MWŁ also remains in possession of satellite and Link 16 connectivity capabilities.

On the other hand, MMSD mobile command station module embedded in a 20-foot container has been designed to secure the operations of the command elements in field conditions. The module in question features up to 16 automated operator stations. Its infrastructure allows for creation of up to 3 independent ICT networks. The equipment applied within the system makes it possible to couple it with automated C4ISR solutions.  The MMSD station features three CTOS connectors, wire connectivity and 20 ICT connections.

Here it shall be stated that the AIAMD programme pursued by the US Army is focused around the IBCS command suite. Poland has already expressed its interest in acquisition of the said solution. IBCS is to ensure interoperational capabilities among the allied units. The system would also provide the user with an ability to independently and freely shape the whole IADS. IBCS is also a solution that provides the user with heightened level of security and resistance to the electronic countermeasures.

However, only by embedding the newly developed radars or other elements within the integrated fire control network one may obtain a properly solid foundation for effective operation of IBCS in Poland. This also paves the way towards exporting of these systems in the future. The above does not apply to Link 16-based integration which is achievable as of now. The intention is to create “plug-and-fight” capability which would require utilization and transfer of the A/B-Kit packages technology. Dunaj II automated C4ISR suite should also be integrated with IBCS. Creating a proper communications network would make this process feasible.

During the period when IBCS would be introduced it should also be noted that there shall be a possibility to create connection redundant to the wireless connectivity provided by IFCN. This could happen through utilization of fiber optics, making the IADS more resistant to jamming or sabotage. Protection of the whole system from artillery and rockets is yet another issue that needs to be addressed. So far, no detailed information has been available with regards to ensuring cyber-security in case of such system. Finally, a question emerges whether and, if yes, to what degree, independent development of the related capabilities or even software for an IBCS-based system would be possible.

From the point of view of the Polish Ministry of Defence, the air defence programme remains the most significant, and also the most expensive project pursued within the scope of the modernization efforts undertaken by the Polish military. Even though further steps are being completed (such as the recent consent issued by the United States of America), no binding decisions have been made so far – neither for Narew nor for Wisła. The final cost of the aforesaid programmes also remains unknown. The success following the actions undertaken by the MoD and the industry may play a major role for modernization of the Polish military in areas other than air defence.

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