Polish companies have been displaying three portable ant-tank systems in Kielce this week.
In addition to WITU’s MOSKIT anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), reported in a separate story on MON earlier today, two others were shown by MESKO – the only company of the PGZ group presenting its products this year. Other companies owned by the Polish defense giant decided not to exhibit their products and focus instead on business meetings.
In cooperation with WITU, MESKO showed a 3D-printed mock-up of a shoulder-fired single-shot 60mm grenade launcher, which has yet to be named. Company information indicates rocket speed is between 100-250m/sec and effective range is up to 300m, with 1,000m as maximum declared ballistic range. Total weight is expected to be under 6kg, depending on configuration. MESKO stated that the grenade-launcher will be made of composites and could be equipped with an additional sight to increase accuracy. The first trial firing has already been conducted and at least two warheads – anti-tank and thermobaric – are planned.
Another system on show was the PIRAT light, portable ATGM with a HEAT warhead. Developed by MESKO, CRW Telesystem-Mesko, the Warsaw Military University of Technology (Wojskowa Akademia Techniczna) and Ukraine’s DKKB Luch from Kiev, PIRAT is designed to attack visually observed ground and aerial targets, such as armoured vehicles – including those with reactive armour.
Field tests were successfully conducted at the Nowa Dęba range in mid-July, including tests of the indigenous engine and homing system at ranges of both 500 and 2,400m. The company states that all field trials are scheduled for completion by year end, at which point it will begin negotiations with the Polish Army as a natural customer. The company claims PIRAT has top-attack capability, which is a new feature for Polish systems. Its declared range is 2,500m and it can penetrate up to 500mm RHA. System weight with canister is 15.5kg, with a missile weighing 9.9kg.
MESKO wants to offer PIRAT for the PUSTELNIK modernization programme to find a cheaper, lighter alternative to Rafael’s SPIKE, which is produced locally under license. It is expected that PIRAT will be ready for production next year. At the same time, the company’s unnamed grenade-launcher is expected to be a proposal for the GROT programme – one of the most urgent yet severely delayed of all Army modernization programmes. Its aim is to find a replacement for obsolete RPG-7s, with the Army likely to procure up to 150,000. A tender is expected this year.
Robert Czulda in Kielce for MON