Slovak media, including Dennik N, reported that the government approved the selection of air defense missile systems for the local armed forces. It is planned to purchase two very short-range systems from Poland (Piorun type) and one short/medium-range Barak-MX system from Israel. The total cost of this investment is EUR 194 million, of which just over EUR 65 million (PLN 300 million) will go to Polish industry for 36 mobile devices. By the end of the year, it is expected that intergovernmental agreements will be negotiated and signed, and then resubmitted to the government for approval and contracts signed.
In the competitive action launched this year, Bratislava was looking for one medium-range anti-aircraft system (MRSAM-1) and 12 or 36 very short-range systems (CREWPAD/MANPAD). These systems were supposed to be acquired on an intergovernmental basis to begin the process of replacing the existing Igla-1 and Kub kits, and to partially fill the gap left by the S-300PMU kit delivered to Ukraine. Bratislava confirms that this is the first stage of air defense modernization.
How did Bioron win?
The Slovak authorities announced the results of the evaluation, which formed the basis for the decisions taken. From the point of view of the Polish reader, the part about very short-range groups is particularly interesting, because the Slovaks compared the Polish Pioruns offer with competing Western groups: the Swedish RBS 70 NG, the French Mistral 3, and the South Korean Chiron. System. All kits met the minimum technical requirements. Poland was the only country to offer a shoulder-firing system that could be operated by a single soldier. The remaining offers – as the Slovaks themselves admit – relate to CREWPAD kits, which are slightly heavier, use a base and are operated by two soldiers.
Therefore, the Polish proposal was the only one that made it possible to have 36 groups, which provided much greater firepower than the heavier 12 groups.. 36 Polish MANPADS (possibly an initial batch with a supply of missiles, and possibly also with additional equipment) worth €65.9 million, i.e. about PLN 300 million, giving the price of one set €1.8 million. For comparison, 12 Swedish RBS 70 NG aircraft were to cost €39.5 million (€3.3 million per set), the same number of French Mistral 3s cost €35 million (€2.9 million per set), and twelve sets of South Korean Chiron. The Republic of Korea valued it at €31 million.
Initially, the bids were to be evaluated in terms of technical parameters, total life cycle cost, logistics, purchase price and training (as well as industrial share, which none of the bidders expected for very short-term systems). . According to this result, the Swedish proposal took first place (Pioroni took second place). However, the Slovaks took into account the fact that Poland was the only one to announce the delivery of 36 sets (and not 12), which allows for much greater combat potential, in addition The Polish proposal was the cheapest in terms of unit cost De facto confirmed Better cost-to-effect ratio.
The 36 Piorun sets will be designed to provide defense for a mechanized brigade and a reinforced battle group, in line with the capabilities development objectives approved in 2021. In contrast, the cost of one Barak-MX set, consisting of 3 launchers with 8 missiles, is 128.1 million euros. It received the highest rating, followed by the Rafael Spyder (4 launchers with 8 missiles each, hence the MR version) – 149.5 million euros, the German IRIS-T SLM (4 launchers with 8 missiles each, 200.3 million euros) and the French MICA. VL (169.2 million euros). With reference to the selection of a short/medium range group aimed at defending critical infrastructure and maintaining the capabilities of personnel of missile units of the Air Force, it should be noted that Slovakia is the third NATO country to purchase an anti-aircraft system from IsraelBut it is different from the previous countries (Czech Republic – Spyder and Finland – David’s Sling). For Bratislava, evaluation of its own systems was more important than interoperability with allies, even with the small number of devices purchased.
From the Polish point of view, it is worth noting another export success of Piorun groups. They have already been ordered by the United States, Ukraine (where they have proven combat effectiveness and have also made industrial deliveries), Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Norway and an undisclosed Balkan country. Everything indicates that Slovakia will join the Piorun user group. Consistent implementation of the program for the construction of man-portable anti-aircraft air defense systems leads to results not only in strengthening the Polish Armed Forces, but also in expanding the export offer. It is worth noting that Polish industry is already working on a new generation – the Piorun NG kit, which has greater combat capabilities, as well as on the Grzmot missile, using technologies perfected in the Grom/Piorun program and intended for Poprad missiles and Sona self-propelled kits.
Piorun is a Polish portable anti-aircraft system developed by Mesko in cooperation with CRW Telesystem-Mesko. It can engage targets at distances from 400 meters to 6.5 kilometers and at altitudes from 10 meters to 4,000 metres, as well as in conditions of natural and artificial disturbance, and can also use an opto-electronic targeting unit. It is capable of combating aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles – all these types of air objects were successfully destroyed by Polish Pioruns during the war in Ukraine.
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