MSPO 2017: Israeli companies seek Polish growth
Poland’s ambitious plans to spend billions of dollars modernising its armed forces has unsurprisingly garnered attention from some of the industry’s leading defence contractors, not least those in Israel.
Several Israeli companies have descended on the small city of Kielce this year to show their wares and potentially garner interest in a wide range of technologies including C4I systems, air defence, unmanned vehicles, weapons and sensors.
Elbit Systems is one of those companies hoping to expand its existing presence in the country, with one official telling Shephard that the Polish market ‘was very important for us’.
The company has provided several solutions to the Polish Army including its Multi Sensor Reconnaissance and Surveillance System, which is fitted to the land force’s Rosomak 8x8 reconnaissance vehicle variant and is used for intelligence collection and dissemination.
Elbit Systems has also worked closely with Polish company Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) on the Kryl self-propelled howitzer, a 6x6 wheeled solution currently in development. The Kryl utilises the Elbit Systems ATMOS 155mm/52 cal gun mounted on a HSW truck and could soon enter serial production.
‘These are examples of good cooperation we have with Polish industry,’ said the official. ‘We see this as an important market, we can bring in experience as a combat systems integrator, combat platform upgrader and supplier of artillery systems.’
At this year’s MSPO Elbit Systems will also display its new Spear Mk2 mortar, a 120mm system that can be installed on a lightweight combat vehicle. This system will be showcased by HSW on a 4x4 vehicle, most likely a Humvee.
Another company hoping to expand into the Polish market is Israel Aerospace Indsutries (IAI), which is eyeing a number of potential requirements coming from the Polish MoD including for satellite solutions, special mission aircraft, long-range missiles, air defence systems and radars.
The company recently signed an MOU with state-run Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ) to expand collaboration on areas such as tactical loitering UAS, aerial reconnaissance systems, EW systems and multi-mission tanker and aviation platforms.
Israel Sharon, IAI’s marketing manager for Europe, told Shephard that the company’s ‘first priority’ was to work with local industry and partners and not just to sell defence products.
‘We know that a great part of [equipment] production will be in Poland,’ said Sharon.
IAI is positioning its Barak 8 for Poland’s Narew short-range air defence programme as well as showcasing the Long Range missile (LORA) artillery system, which the company put forward for Poland's Homar requirement for rocket artillery systems.
Sharon noted that for a potential future requirement for a special mission aircraft, IAI’s Elta division could offer its conformal airborne early warning (CAEW) product that has already been delivered to the Italian Air Force. He added that the Elta division could also supply vehicle-mounted radars, especially for active protection systems.