The Polish Ministry of Defense (MoD) intends to procure a new, mobile short range air-and-missile defense (SHORAD) system under the ‘Sona’ programme. The Armament Inspectorate, which acts on behalf of the MoD, has already launched a technical dialogue procedure, leading to working out main technical and operational requirements, which the future bidders will be obliged to meet.
The new, mobile SHORAD system will be capable of detecting, identifying and destroying enemy aerial targets, such as manned fixed and rotary-wing platforms or unmanned aerial vehicles. It will be also used to destroy incoming rockets, artillery, and mortar rounds (C-RAM).
Furthermore, Sona SHORAD systems will also be tasked with providing air coverage to armoured or mechanized detachments or task forces on the move, while operating aside from main force structures.
Although the Armament Inspectorate is open to all companies interested in taking part in the technical dialogue, local or foreign, it seems quite possible, that the Inspectorate as well as the MoD, will lean on to providing as big role as possible in the ‘Sona’ programme to the Polish defence industry, which has the technical capabilities required to meet all major requirements of the future operator.
For example, the future Sona SHORAD system could be equipped with Piorun or Piorun 2 anti-aircraft missiles from Mesko, a subsidiary of the Polish Armaments Group (Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa, PGZ). The systems could be coupled with a 35-mm gun offered by Pit-Radwar and Huta Stalowa Wola, other subsidiaries of PGZ.
Pit-Radwar could also deliver radar tracking and surveillance systems as well as C4ISRs, while other members of the local defence industry could provide optoelectronic observation systems. Sona can also be equipped with non-kinetic counter drone solutions.
Due to the requirement of manoeuvrability, Sona system will have to be based on a tracked or wheeled platform, which also could be manufactured locally. HSW could integrate the new system with the K9 tracked chassis, which it produces on a licence for the Krab 155-mm self-propelled howitzer programme. While Rosomak SA, another subsidiary of PGZ, is well prepared to fit the SHORAD system with its Rosomak or Rosomak XP wheeled vehicles, which are a local derivative of Patria’s AMV and AMV XP platform (Rosomak-S AMVs for Poland, 2020-05-02).