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Polish Ministry of Defence to Acquire PIRAT Anti-tank Guided Missile (ATGM)

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Polish Ministry of Defence to Acquire PIRAT Anti-tank Guided Missile (ATGM)

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Pirat Anti-tank Guided Missile (ATGM)
Pirat Anti-tank Guided Missile (ATGM)

The Polish Deputy Minister and Secretary of State, Wojciech Skurkiewicz confirmed a plan to acquire PIRAT Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM). The PIRAT is an anti-tank guided missile jointly developed by the defense industry of Ukraine and Poland. Defence24 reported that the missile developed by the Polish Defense Industry in the framework of the Pustelnik program. The Pustelnik program was launched by the Polish armed forces to acquire new anti-tank weapon systems to cover the gap between the anti-tank grenade launchers, and heavier anti-tank guided missiles. The Ukrainian RK-3 Corsar is being used for the creation of the PIRAT anti-tank missile, in which beam-riding guidance was replaced with semi-active laser homing.

PIRAT Anti-tank Guided Missile (ATGM)
PIRAT Anti-tank Guided Missile (ATGM). (Photo by Mesko)

The PIRAT is a Ukrainian portable anti-tank guided missile developed by Mesko and CRW Telesystem-Mesko. The PIRAT can be used against land and air targets and is able to destroy modern combat vehicles and tanks protected by conventional and reactive armor. The missile is also able to destroy aerial targets such as helicopters or aircraft flying at low speeds during day and night. Two versions of the missile have already been developed including the PIRAT 1 and the PIRAT 2. It utilizes a guidance unit that is common for APR 155 and APR 120 artillery munitions, destined for the Krab/Kryl howitzers, and Rak mortars respectively. The PIRAT missile was unveiled for the first time to the public during International Defence Industry Exhibition MSPO.

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PIRAT Anti-tank Guided Missile (ATGM).
PIRAT Anti-tank Guided Missile (ATGM). (Photo by ZM Tarnow)

The PIRAT 1 is a light, portable shoulder-launched anti-tank guided missile designed to reach a maximum firing range of 2,500 m and the missile can be fitted with three different types of 2.5-kg warhead: armor-piercing, thermobaric, and high explosive fragmentation. The missile would be capable of penetrating up to 550 mm of steel armor covered by ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor). The second version is the PIRAT 2 which is a light short-range anti-tank guided missile weapons system with a manually-launched missile that is self-guided after launch following the target-reflected laser beam trajectory. Pirat-2 variant is a missile of higher velocity, featuring a high-explosive (HE) warhead.

 PIRAT Anti-tank Guided Missile (ATGM)
PIRAT Anti-tank Guided Missile (ATGM). (Photo by ZM Tarnow)

The PIRAT has also been integrated on the ZM Tarnow’s RCWS integrated on an unmanned platform. The experience gathered in Ukraine shows that the lighter platforms constitute the bulk of the anti-tank guided missile targets. That should make it easier to attain a higher saturation of the inventory with the anti-tank missiles, also when scenarios present themselves in which heavy anti-tank guided missiles are not a must – for instance when there is a need to neutralize targets that do not require heavier weapons, such as infantry fighting vehicles, or armoured personnel carriers. The PERUN combat wheeled unmanned ground vehicle has been demonstrated with PIRAT ATGM mounted on the vehicle.

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