The Polish Ministry of Defense plans to acquire a new MPA and a new spyplane.
As Dziennik Zbrojny reports, on Apr. 5, the Armament Inspectorate of the Polish Ministry of Defense has initiated a procedure to acquire a complex aerial reconnaissance system, also known under the name “Płomykówka” (Barn Owl).
The first stage of the said program, the goal of which is to acquire SIGINT, IMINT and RADINT capable platform (Signal, Imagery and Radio intelligence) took on the form of a detailed market analysis.
According to the information obtained from the AI (Armament Inspectorate) by the Dziennik Zbrojny’s editorial team, the first phase is to end in mid 2017.
Meanwhile, the “Rybitwa” (Tern) program initiated in April, focused on maritime reconnaissance and Anti-Submarine/Anti-Ship Warfare, is to be finalized in September 2018.
The procurement timeline, at the moment, remains confidential, to a degree so high that there is no knowledge available whether the programs have been covered within the “Technical Modernization Plan” implemented by the MoD between 2017 and 2022.
The Inspectorate solely claims that Płomykówka task has a priority, over the Rybitwa initiative, and that the implementation proceeds as planned.
Tomasz Dmitruk of Dziennik Zbrojny had acquired some relevant information pertaining to that matter earlier, and the publicly available knowledge suggested that three reconnaissance aircraft were to be acquired within the “Płomykówka” program, with the “Rybitwa” maritime patrol/reconnaissance assets scheduled to be procured later. The latter program assumes that three Maritime Patrol Aircraft would be acquired between 2023 and 2030.
Image Credit: Wikimedia
With the P-3C being retired by the USN, there must be lots of airframes with plenty of flight hours left on them – planes readily available for purchase/transfer. Poland can of course refurbish them and build a fleet of very capable MPAs. With a new RADAR system and updated weapons, the Polish Navy/AF can very quickly gain a very potent maritime defense capability. Naturally given the P-3’s widespread use integration with other NATO forces should prove to be no problem.
I like the way Warsaw is thinking. I expect big things from Poland in the future. NATO is fortunate to have them onboard. The Russian threat seems to grow yearly, and Poland as well as all of Europe has got to remain ready to throw off any potential future Russian aggression. Moscow is a snake loose in the heart of Europe, one that has to be watched and if need be … chop chop! P-3 can help keep a watchful eye.
They need at least 6, not 3. Three seems too few.