Poland's Coastal Defence Missile Battalion (Nadbrzezny Dywizjon Rakietowy, NDR) received the first batch of Kongsberg-supplied Naval Strike Missiles (NSM). Formal acceptance and signing protocols for the NDR were conducted on 28 June by the Head of the Polish Armaments Inspectorate, Brigadier Slawomir Szczepaniak, in a ceremony attended by Waldemar Skrzypczak, Secretary of State for Arms and Modernisation, Adm. Tomasz Mathea, Commander of the Polish Navy, and representatives from Kongsberg. The Polish Armed Forces are first export customer for the NSM. Poland's current order book is for 48 NSM, of which 24 missiles will equip six road-mobile launchers. An additional 24 missiles will be on hand as reloads. Flying at Mach 0.95, the 500kg NSM is capable of achieving a maximum range of 97.2nm+ (>180km). It is a stealth-enhanced missile system, with a price tag half of that of the MBDA SCALP Naval cruise missile, utilising GPS/INS guidance plus an imaging IR seeker, in-flight data link, and an automatic target recognition suite. The missile's 120kg fragmentation warhead has been developed by MBDA Deutschland-owned TDW Gesellschaft für verteidigungstechnische Wirksysteme mbH. It is coupled with the TDW-developed Programmable Intelligent Multipurpose Fuze (PIMPF), which is also found in the company’s MEPHISTO warhead equipping the German Air Force's KEPD-350 TAURUS air-launched cruise missile.
The NDR will consist of 23 Jelcz 662/882 vehicles, including two Mobile Radar Vehicles (MRV) carrying the TRS-15M ODRA-M radar, Battery Command Vehicles (BCV), Mobile Command Centres (MCC), Mobile Launch Vehicles (MLV), Command Control Vehicles (CCV), and NSM supply vehicles plus other associated C3 equipment and trailers for energy support. The battalion will consist of two fully independent batteries, each consisting of three MLV. The TRS-15M radar is a development provided by Bumar Elektronika S.A. (now Polski Holding Obronny sp. z o.o.). The NDR will receive the missiles in three batches, 14 systems during 2013 and 12 each in 2014 and 2015.
Deputy Defence Minister Marcin Idzik sees the procurement of the NSM as a measure “to protect energy resource deliveries to Poland, to counter-attack long-range missile attacks, and to counter possible (asymmetric) threats in the Baltic Sea.” Leszek Miller, Leader of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), backs the plan of the Ministry of Defence in Warsaw “to strengthen Poland's littoral defence capability in the Baltic Sea”. “But these policies could make it more difficult for Poland to fulfill its obligations as a NATO member and participate in missions organised by the Alliance”, he stressed. The outfitting of a Coastal Defence Missile Battalion with the NSM system is aimed at maintaining Poland's littoral defence capability during an interim period of naval downsizing. The decision to procure a long-range missile system has been made at the right time, with Warsaw wanting to withdrew many near-obsolescent or obsolescent Navy between 2016 and 2022. Only by 2022 or so, Warsaw will be able to procure the first two new submarines (replacing the four Sokół class boats) and up to two new ships and a third by 2026, which are seen as the Navy's premier contributions to a larger scale modernisation of the Polish Armed Forces.
The Polish Chief of Staff, Gen. Mieczyslaw Cieniuch, also stated that Warsaw is currently evaluating the possible acquisition of another system, which would enable the Polish Armed Forces to secure Poland's 491km of coastline. He was tasked by Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak to evaluate this plan.
|Above: Mobile Launch Vehicle (MLV) and Command Control Vehicle (CCV).|
Below: Mobile Radar Vehicle (MRV) carrying the TRS-15M ODRA-M radar.
(Photos: Courtesy of Polish Armament Inspectorate)