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MSPO 2022: Poland to begin receiving redesigned Orlik UAS in 2023

WZL 2 displayed the redesigned PGZ-19RA Orlik unmanned aerial system at MSPO 2022. (Janes/Christopher Petrov)

Poland is to begin receiving the PGZ-19RA Orlik unmanned aerial tactical short-range reconnaissance system with a redesigned unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in 2023. Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa's (PGZ's) Wojskowe Zaklady Lotnicze (Military Aviation Works: WZL) 2 displayed the redesigned system at the International Defence Industry Exhibition MSPO 2022 being held in Kielce from 6 to 9 September.

Each system consists of five UAVs and a ground control station (GCS) and deliveries are to be completed in 2025.

The redesigned UAV is larger and has a greater maximum take-off weight than the PGZ-19R: 150 kg compared with 90 kg for the original Orlik ordered in November 2018 by Poland's then Armament Inspectorate (Armaments Agency since January) for PLN780 million (USD164 million). This enables the UAV to carry a larger payload, including a synthetic aperture radar carried internally, a WZL 2 representative told Janes at MSPO on 8 September.

The redesigned UAV has a wingspan of 7.3 m and length of 3.95 m, compared with 2.8 m and 5.4 m, respectively, for the original PGZ-19R. Moreover, it has a slower cruising speed βˆ’ 90βˆ’120 km/h compared with 120βˆ’180 km/h for the PGZ-19R. The 20 kg payload capacity and 5,000 m ceiling of the two versions is the same, according to the WZL 2 representative.

With a crew of three, the 15-inch containerised GCS is used for planning and controlling missions, managing the flight of the UAV, take-off and landing procedures, control of the onboard sensors, and to simulate missions.

The changes to the Orlik were requested by the Polish Ministry of National Defence. WZL 2 would not comment when asked by Janes

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