In a recent display of their readiness and capabilities, the anti-aircraft units from the Polish Land Forces’ 17th Greater Poland Mechanised Brigade (17WBZ) conducted preparatory and combat firing exercises using the formidable POPRAD self-propelled Surface-to-air missile system in mid-October. This exercise showcased the Poprad system’s vital role in safeguarding Polish forces and infrastructure against air threats. The Poprad self-propelled anti-aircraft missile system, produced by PIT-Radwar S.A., is a highly advanced, very short-range air defense (VSHORAD) platform. Designed to detect, recognize, and eliminate air threats at close ranges and low altitudes, the Poprad system employs short-range homing missiles. Its primary functions are realized through an integrated tracking and targeting head with highly dynamic and accurate drives. Additionally, a suite of electro-optics sensors, including a thermal imaging camera, daylight camera, and laser rangefinder, work in tandem with the automatic target tracking system, ensuring precision and rapid threat identification.
The SPZR Poprad is mounted on the AMZ ?ubr-P chassis produced by AMZ-Kutno. Its design is optimized for swift transition from the transport position, where the warhead is lowered and protected by roof covers, to the combat position, ensuring rapid response to threats. The Poprad system can operate both independently and as part of a broader air defense network. When integrated into the anti-aircraft defense control system, it can receive target data and fire commands, enhancing its effectiveness and responsiveness. The system maintains communication with the air defense control system, receiving target information and commands to engage with potential threats. Furthermore, Poprad benefits from an inertial and satellite navigation system, allowing operators to swiftly relay their position and readiness status to the command system once in a firing position. The radar capabilities of the Poprad system are complemented by the ZDPSR “So?a” radar stations, which provide crucial target data for the Poprad batteries. This integration ensures that Poprad operates with full situational awareness, capable of engaging threats effectively.
The SPZR Poprad can be employed to protect various assets, including columns of troops, command posts, airports, ports, industrial facilities, communication junctions, and more, effectively countering air strikes. Under a contract signed in December 2015, the Polish Army was set to receive a total of 79 Poprad anti-aircraft systems by 2021, comprising 77 newly manufactured systems and 2 adapted from the implementation batch. Deliveries commenced in 2018, reaffirming Poland’s commitment to enhancing its air defense capabilities. The recent live firing exercise demonstrates the preparedness of the Polish Land Forces and the effectiveness of the Poprad self-propelled anti-aircraft missile system in safeguarding Poland’s military assets and critical infrastructure from air threats. As Poland continues to enhance its defense capabilities, the Poprad system remains a vital component of its air defense strategy, showcasing the nation’s commitment to protecting its interests and sovereignty.