Military Review

ZRPK PSR-A Pilica for the Polish army


Fire means ZRPK Pilica in a self-propelled configuration

On December 18, the Polish armed forces took over the first battery of PSR-A Pilica anti-aircraft missile-gun systems. The production of this equipment has started, and new deliveries are expected in the coming years. With the help of such complexes, the Polish army intends to strengthen its air defense and provide protection against typical threats of the present time.

Lingering development

Despite the seeming simplicity, the development of the PSR-A Pilica project took quite a long time. The first studies on the topic of air defense missile systems based on available components began back in 2006. In 2010, the Polish Ministry of Defense launched a full-fledged project development with the involvement of several organizations. Later, after the organization of a unified defense company Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa SA, they were brought into the PGZ-Pilica consortium.

The Pilica project was completed in the first half of the tenth years, after which tests and refinement began. In 2015, experienced air defense missile systems successfully coped with the tests. In November 2016, an agreement was signed for the supply of six batteries with a total value of PLN 746 million (more than EUR 160 million). In 2018, an additional agreement appeared that specified the terms of supply. It was planned to transfer the equipment until 2021-22.

Structure of the complex

Work on the first PSR-A ZRPK battery continued until October this year, when it successfully passed acceptance tests. After that, it was necessary to draw up the remaining documents and transfer the products to the army. The broadcast took place on December 18. The first battery of the complex was transferred to the 3rd Air Defense Brigade operating in the area of ​​Warsaw.

During the handover ceremony, officials noted the importance of the new air defense missile systems for the development of Polish air defense. In particular, such short-range weapons are seen as a modern and effective response to the threat of unmanned aerial vehicles. They also talked about the benefits of collaboration between different organizations that resulted in the Pilica product.

On available components

The promising PSR-A Pilica air defense missile system was proposed to be built with the widespread use of available components. In fact, only individual devices had to be developed from scratch, mainly the means of interaction between the components of the complex.

Shooting complex. Fire launchers deployed in a self-propelled and towed version

The battery of the Pilica complex includes a command post, a detection radar, six self-propelled / towed anti-aircraft guns and a pair of transport vehicles for transporting ammunition. The fixed assets of the complex are based on the Jelcz 442.32 truck with a platform body or a van. The radar can be mounted on a lighter chassis.

Target detection is carried out using a three-dimensional radar ELM-2106NG ADSR-3D manufactured by the Israeli company IAI. This product detects tactical aircraft at ranges of up to 60 km and UAVs at ranges of 20 km, and also tracks up to 60 targets. In addition, the anti-aircraft guns are equipped with their own optoelectronic units that transmit a signal to the command post. The latter processes the data and issues target designation to firing installations. It also provides data exchange with other anti-aircraft systems within the framework of echeloned air defense.

As part of the PSR-A, the ZUR-23-2KG Jodek missile and cannon launcher is used (Polish modernization of the Soviet ZU-23-2). It has a regular gun carriage, aiming equipment and a pair of 23-mm automatic cannons. At the same time, the right seat of the anti-aircraft gunner was removed, and new equipment was placed in its place. The remaining operator-gunner receives a new sight and a monitor for issuing data for shooting. Above the cannons there is a support for two Grom MANPADS (the Polish version of the Igla product) or newer Piorun products.

The rocket-cannon installation is made on a wheeled carriage, which allows it to be towed behind a standard tractor from the complex. It also provides for the unit to be housed in a tractor body, which increases mobility and simplifies deployment into position.

The main combat characteristics of the Pilica air defense missile system are determined by its main components. 23-mm cannons are capable of hitting targets at ranges of no more than 2-3 km, and the presence of missiles increases the affected area up to 5 km in range and up to 3,5-4 km in height. At the same time, the availability of new electronic means at the facility allows a more complete use of the potential weapons.

Modern replacement

A significant number of anti-aircraft artillery installations still remain in service with the Polish army, and they are still considered a fairly effective means for solving individual tasks. It is with this that the emergence of a new PSR-A complex is associated, which will have to supplement and then replace obsolete products.

Poland currently has approx. 250-270 installations ZU-23-2 and ZUR-23-2 of early modifications. Also in service is approx. 70 upgraded ZUR-23-2KG with Grom missiles. No more than 40-50 units of different types are mounted on trucks - such a SPAAG is called Hibneryt. Despite several upgrades, it is considered obsolete and in need of replacement. The main problem with this ZSU is the lack of early warning devices and full battery control.

The modern PSR-A Pilica project provides for the combination of several missile and cannon installations into a complex with unified detection and control facilities. Batteries of this composition can be incorporated into larger air defense systems. All these measures make it possible to obtain the maximum possible results from the available fire weapons.

ZRPK type PSR-A is of obvious interest for the Polish army, which plans to keep the ZU-23-2 and its derivatives in service. The new project allows the use of existing installations, but at the same time bring their combat qualities closer to modern requirements. In addition, it is argued that outdated weapons with new control systems are capable of hitting small UAVs and other complex targets.

Quality and quantity

It should be noted that the prospects for the PSR-A Pilica complex and the Polish air defense as a whole are seriously limited by several objective factors. Some are fundamentally impossible to get rid of, but it is quite possible to cope with others.

The main drawbacks of PSR-A and other designs of this kind are related to obsolete base components. 23-mm automatic cannons have long failed to meet modern requirements for air defense artillery. Acceptable characteristics of range, altitude and power are achieved only with calibers of at least 30 mm. Replacing the guns with the Pilica air defense missile system is not possible.

MANPADS "Thunder", which is a licensed copy of the rather old "Igla", is also morally outdated. The newer Piorun complex has certain advantages, but how they will affect the overall capabilities of the air defense missile system is a big question.

Difficulties at the stage of development and production development should be noted. Research on the future of the air defense missile system began almost 15 years ago, the design was launched in 2010, and the first production vehicles reached the troops only 10 years later. At the same time, the project was based on ready-made components and therefore did not differ in principle complexity. Such deadlines for the completion of work may indicate the weakness of the development enterprises, which is capable of hitting serial production.

Anti-aircraft self-propelled gun Hibneryt

The current order provides for the supply of 6 anti-aircraft batteries, each of which includes 6 anti-aircraft installations. Thus, no later than 2022, the Polish army will have 36 new missile and cannon installations. However, this is slightly less than 10% of the total number of 23-mm installations in service. For all its technical and combat advantages, the new Pilica will only have a limited impact on air defense capabilities.

Attempts to update

The air defense of the Polish army, both military and object, is not distinguished by the novelty and high characteristics of the systems in service. Outdated products remain in service, which are trying to modernize in order to "squeeze" the maximum possible performance. A striking example of such a situation and such an approach is the new PSR-A Pilica air defense missile system.

By building a full-fledged battery and introducing new devices, Polish designers were able to significantly improve the combat qualities of the outdated ZU-23-2 installation. At the same time, the old fire weapons with all their shortcomings and limitations remained at the heart of the anti-aircraft complex. However, the Polish army ignores these problems and calls PSR-A a clear success, and not an ambiguous model with dubious prospects.
Photos used:
PGZ SA, Ministry of Defense of Poland
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  1. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 22 December 2020 18: 29
    Duc, in the Russian Federation there is also "something"! For example, ZU-23 / 30M1-3 ...

    So ... "psheki, psheki ..." and in the Russian Federation well "fed"!
  2. The popuas
    The popuas 22 December 2020 18: 34
    The other day the article was
    1. Lionnvrsk
      Lionnvrsk 22 December 2020 20: 54
      Quote: Popuas
      The other day the article was

      It was. I repeat:
      "Not impressed! Fuck the goat button accordion!" yes
  3. vvvjak
    vvvjak 22 December 2020 18: 36
    "Mace", "Thunder", "Perun". And whom they decided to "spook" with this thing.
    1. Gunner
      Gunner 22 December 2020 18: 54
      Themselves. There we have it. This is power. Well, who dares to attack us now.
    2. Runway
      Runway 23 December 2020 00: 14
      The method of fire ambushes in the areas of the proposed theater of operations (landing zones) and attachments to object air defense in the role of "PM".
  4. rocket757
    rocket757 22 December 2020 19: 29
    I blinded you from what was ... that's the whole story.
    1. alexmach
      alexmach 23 December 2020 12: 02
      you laugh in vain, I think the idea is great. Fire weapons are of course outdated, but a mobile radar in a jeep and integration into a common control system is a great idea. Now imagine in place of the ZU-23-2 the same Air Defense derivation.
      1. rocket757
        rocket757 23 December 2020 13: 22
        Quote: alexmach
        Now imagine in place of the ZU-23-2 the same Air Defense derivation.

        No, I DON'T PRESENT it.
        Then, I'm not laughing, just stating the fact.
      2. Intruder
        Intruder 25 December 2020 13: 34
        you laugh in vain, I think the idea is great. Fire weapons are of course outdated, but a mobile radar on a jeep and integration into a common control system is a great idea.
        and why, this "vinaigrette with compote" is a great idea !? They took an outdated Zushka, stuck from the fact that there were several sights on the second place of the shooter, stuck a pair of "Polish" no less old "Needles" on the bracket, even wrote themselves that the efficiency was "near zero", for full functionality "this" is far, all the more, the installation is manually controlled by the shooter, ... on each installation - 1 piece, for the automation of firing and guidance - zero! Plus, they "pumped in" in the Arabic manner, made an ordinary gantrak, simple, but not a short-range air defense complex ...
        1. alexmach
          alexmach 25 December 2020 14: 52
          and what, this "vinaigrette with compote" is a great idea

          IMHO approaches are quite correct.
          1. Separation of detection, control and destruction systems
          2.integration into a larger air defense system
          3. Cheapness, which means mass character is possible
          They took an outdated Zushka, stuck from the fact that there were several sights on the second place of the shooter, stuck a pair of "Polish" no less old "Needles" on the bracket,

          I said this, and the Poles themselves noted in the article, the means of destruction are "not very", yes.
          all the more, the installation is manually controlled by the shooter, ... on each installation - 1 piece, for the automation of firing and guidance - zero!

          It cannot be controlled by one shooter in the absence of guidance automation.
          Plus, they "pumped in" in the Arabic manner

          Well, here again "blinded from what was." And imagine in such a system the same Derivation on the BMP-3 chassis. Such a vehicle can theoretically be included in the composition of a motorized rifle unit, the reach in height and range is growing in comparison with the ZUShka. Isn't it an idea for building a military air defense system of the lowest level?
  5. Revolver
    Revolver 22 December 2020 20: 20
    The ZU-23-2 in the back of a truck is very similar to numerous makeshift versions of the "jihad mobile", which, in principle, can be carried by "Needles" or "Stingers" for shooting from the operator's shoulder. The only difference is a command post with a radar. Even "Shilka" looks even more intelligible, not to mention "Tunguska". So all this is more like the attempts of the 404 country to slap the four-thread from the remnants of Soviet arsenals (which they have not yet had time to sell or ditch) under NATO standards.
  6. silberwolf88
    silberwolf88 22 December 2020 20: 56
    very similar to the inventions of various mujahideen ... only there the basic chassis in the form of a Toyota))) ... the genius of Polish thought gave birth))
  7. Keyser soze
    Keyser soze 22 December 2020 21: 10
    160 million euros for that junk riveted in the garage? There only the IAI radar costs money, everything else was stolen from the museum. Apparently friends of the minister made money.
    1. Abram Ivanovich
      Abram Ivanovich 23 December 2020 11: 50
      So it's called "drank"
  8. Jacket in stock
    Jacket in stock 23 December 2020 05: 05
    15 years to develop a communication system for three components !?
    I thought better of the Poles.
    1. zadorin1974
      zadorin1974 23 December 2020 09: 29
      Well, what do you want? To let out, puffing out your cheeks, under the licenses donated by the USSR, helicopters, tanks and cars, while pouring mud on the Union, this is not the same as developing your own. The military-industrial complex is blown away. Only the Czech Republic and Belarus are trying to puff up with the latest developments. The rest are shoveling around the tenth circle of the Soviet Union's developments, while spoiling them even more.
  9. zxc15682
    zxc15682 23 December 2020 07: 18
    The most useless thing about this thing is ZU-23-2. Just leave the needles and there will be a thing.
    1. Intruder
      Intruder 25 December 2020 13: 39
      The most useless thing about this thing is ZU-23-2. Just leave the needles and there will be a thing.
      Exactly, throw it out to this, then there ...., both barrels, stick the electric drive and the drive control controller in angles and azimuth with a remote telemetry channel, plus one module with a normal OES, and a package of 8-12 MANPADS, even a cover against fragmentation could be fastened on top, one could then talk about the originality of use .... the base of the old anti-aircraft gun!
  10. Valdaev
    Valdaev 24 December 2020 00: 55
    The more risks for the cooperative the lake - the more peace in Europe