The POPRAD missile system is developed by PIT-RADWAR. Image courtesy of Inspektorat Uzbrojenia (IU).
The Polish Armed Forces executed field tests of two POPRAD prototypes in 2014. Image courtesy of Inspektorat Uzbrojenia (IU).
SPZR POPRAD was displayed during the International Defence Industry Exhibition MSPO 2008 held at Kielce, Poland. Image courtesy of Spike78.
The Grom missile has a maximum range of 5.5km. Image courtesy of Spike78.

SPZR Poprad anti-aircraft missile system

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 defence capability.

The missile system is intended to protect critical infrastructure facilities, military equipment and people from threats posed by airborne objects such as helicopters, aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

It uses heat-seeking missiles to detect, identify and defeat air targets flying at low or medium altitudes and very short distances.

SPZR Poprad orders and deliveries

The Polish Armed Forces performed field tests on two prototypes of the Poprad during September and November 2014. During the tests, the systems successfully demonstrated their ability to engage slow and fast-moving targets.

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.

A total of 77 Poprad anti-aircraft rocket kits will be delivered between 2018 and 2021. The contract also covers training package, services, repair and overhaul of existing systems.

Design and features of Poprad artillery system

The Poprad short-range air defence missile system can be mounted on a variety of wheeled or tracked off-road vehicles such as Land Rover light tactical vehicle and Zubr wheeled armoured personnel carrier (APC), developed by AMZ-Kutno.

The Poprad missile system is operated by two crew members, the commander / operator and mechanic / driver. It has four launch tubes and can carry up to eight missiles including four ready-to-fire and four in the boxes. It incorporates a built-in auxiliary power unit (APU) or battery unit.

Armament systems

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.

Sensors onboard the anti-aircraft missile system

The artillery system’s fire control system and high-performance tracking-aiming head allow it to effectively engage highly manoeuvring targets.

"The artillery system’s fire control system and high-performance tracking-aiming head allow it to effectively engage highly manoeuvring targets."

The tracking head is equipped with automatic optoelectronic sensors including a daylight camera and an infrared (FLIR) camera for target acquisition and tracking both during the day and at night.

An identification, friend or foe (IFF) interrogation system fitted to the tracking head provides command and control capability to prevent friendly fire. A laser rangefinder fitted to the missile provides accurate distance measurements.

Navigation and communications for moving object detection

The anti-aircraft missile system uses an inertial navigation system integrated with global positioning system (GPS) to calculate the position and orientation of moving objects.

The missile system is interoperable with the automated air defence command and control system or can autonomously perform target tracking, detection, identification and destruction. It employs secure digital radio links to transmit target data to the command and control system.

Performance within covert and hidden operations

The Poprad offers high mobility and requires short deployment time. It can be used in covert or hidden operations and is capable of operating under both day and night lighting conditions.

The Grom guided missile has an average flight velocity of 650m/s and can engage targets flying at altitudes ranging between 10m and 3.5km. Its minimum and maximum distances are 500m and 5.5km respectively.

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