The Armament Inspectorate, which acts on behalf of the Polish Ministry of Defense (MoD), confirmed that it has commenced negotiations with Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) and Rosomak S.A. – both subsidiaries of the Polish Armaments Group (Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa, PGZ) - for the planned procurement of additional 120mm Rak self-propelled mortar systems and command post vehicles (AWD). Both platforms will be based on the Rosomak 8x8 / Patria AMV 8x8 chassis, manufactured on a license by HSW.
According to the Armament Inspectorate negotiations with HSW and Rosomak commenced in the beginning of April. The estimated value of the future contract is over 680 million Polish Zloty (€150 million). Deliveries of additional Rak mortars and command post vehicles should commence in 2020 and run through to 2026. New mortar systems will most likely be operated by the 18th Mechanized Division, which is currently being formed in the east of the country.
According to the MoD, the future 18th Mechanized Division will consist of three brigades, including the 1st "Warsaw" Armoured Brigade, which is currently subordinate to the 16th Mechanised Division and the 21st Podhale Rifles Brigade which currently operates as an independent brigade. The structure of the 18th Mechanised Division will also be supplemented by the 19th Mechanised Brigade in Lublin, which was established lately and should reach final operational capability within the coming years.
The currently negotiated contract for Rak mortars will be a continuation of procurement of these weapon systems, started by the Polish MoD in 2016, when a contract for procurement of 64 wheeled mortar systems and 32 AWDs was signed with HSW and Rosomak S.A. In October 2019 a deal for the delivery of additional 16 Rak mortars and 8 AWDs was reached.
Polish Army organizes its newly procured Rak mortar systems in separate artillery companies. Each consists of eight Rak mortars and four AWDs (one each for the company commander, deputy company commander and two platoon commanders). Additionally, each artillery company will be composed of: 2 artillery reconnaissance vehicles (AWR), 3 ammunition supply vehicles 8x8 (AWA), a mobile workshop 6x6 (AWRU) and a support vehicle 6x6 (WZ).