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Poland approves contract for 25 Wizjer mini-UAVs

Wizjer mini UAV Orbiter UAV solution
Photo: PGZ

The Polish defense ministry has approved a contract for the purchase of mini unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) under the country’s Wizjer program.

According to defense minister Mariusz Błaszczak, the agreement with the Polish consortium composed of Polish Armaments Group and Wojskowe Zakłady Lotnicze covers the delivery of a total of 25 UAV systems.

The Wizjer program had been scheduled to identify the preferred mini UAV solution for the Polish armed forces as early as 2016, but has experienced delays.

Announcing the contract on December 29, defense minister Błaszczak noted the situation on the border with Belarus, saying these UAVs would enhance the country’s ability to respond to this challenge.

“Drones are also used in times of peace, in the situation we find ourselves in today, in the situation in which we were attacked,” Błaszczak said.

“We are also dealing with the use of drones by the Belarusian side. Drones are used for reconnaissance, and then officers of Belarusian services destroy the temporary fence to open the way to push migrants to the Polish side.”

Polish defense officials pose next to the mini-UAV solution during the contract signing ceremony on December 29, 2021. Photo: Polish defense ministry

The UAV contract stipulates that each of the 25 sets includes four aerial platforms with electro-optical EO/IR payloads, a ground control station with a data terminal and a portable video terminal. In total, the contract is worth 174 million Polish złoty (approx. US$43 million), and foresees the delivery of a total of 100 drones along with a logistics and training package. Deliveries are expected to take place between 2024 and 2027.

The winning consortium earlier revealed that they would offer the Israeli-developed Orbiter 2 man-portable UAV, and imagery shared by the defense ministry during the contract signing confirms the type.

According to information provided by the defense ministry, the Wizjer program will deliver an image recognition (IMINT) solution with a flight time of more than three hours and an operating range of up to 35 km. The system developer says the UAV has an endurance of up to 4 hours, a payload capacity of 1.5 kg and an operational radius of 100 km. Its main tasks will include observation, including the detection, recognition, identification and indication of object coordinates. The UAV takes off automatically with the use of a composite launch tube and lands with a parachute and an airbag.