At MSPO Northrop Grumman provided details of its offer to Poland for a fully networked short-range air defence and C-UAS capability.
Warsaw’s SONA programme aims to replace Soviet-era ZSU-23-4 SHILKA and ZSU-23-4MP BIAŁA self-propelled tracked air defence vehicles and to acquire a new generation self-propelled short range air defence system to protect its mobile armoured and mechanized forces. The new system is expected to neutralise drones as well as aircraft, and to have C-RAM (counter-rocket, artillery and mortar) capabilities.
In May 2020 the Armament Inspectorate, which is responsible for procurement, issued an invitation for a technical dialogue – the first step before an official tender. This phase will be conducted 1 October-18 December.
Northrop Grumman’s offer includes its Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) in addition to the Mobile Acquisition Cueing and Effector (M-ACE) system, which provides the ability to detect, identify, track and defeat hostile drones on the battlefield. The system also includes the BUSHMASTER Chain Gun, which is already in service in Poland on ROSOMAK wheeled vehicles, and various types of ammunition, including high explosive air bursting (HEAB), proximity-fuzed and (in the near future) guided rounds.
“The idea is that our BUSHMASTER Chain Guns are currently on the ROSOMAK fighting vehicle and through the integration of M-ACE we could network the vehicles with weapon systems and provide security on the move because M-ACE is capable of supporting drone detection, identification and tracking on the move. With the contract pending for the final MK44 Stretch BUSHMASTER Chain Guns and the potential for further systems integrated on to the BORSUK, the ability to fire high explosive air bursting ammunition (HEAB) is a good capability to defeat drones. So, the pending contract that I mentioned for HEAB naturally falls into a capability that the Polish Army would already have in place and through networking the formations, they can have multiple effectors available to defend against drone threats,” explained Northrop Grumman Communications Manager, Jarrod Krull.
Robert Czulda in Kielce for MON