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Poland's Gladius system breaks cover

The 4×4 Waran launcher vehicle of the Gladius system with the FT-5 tactical reconnaissance UAV mounted. To the left is the training version of the BSP-U strike UAV. (Jakub Link-Lenczowski)

The Polish army unveiled the components of its new Gladius artillery strike-reconnaissance system during a military parade on 15 August, displaying a commander's vehicle and a mobile launcher vehicle, the FT-5 tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and the training version of the BSP-U strike UAV (BSP-U(T)).

Huta Stalowa Wola's (HSW) Waran 4×4 is used as the base platform for the commander's vehicle and the launcher vehicle, with the former being the light armoured vehicle variant and the latter the pickup chassis.

While the FT-5 and the BSP-U(T) UAVs were shown at the parade, a WB Group spokeperson told Janes that the launcher vehicle could also operate other types, such as the company's Warmate 2 loitering munition.

Both vehicles are fitted with expandable antenna masts, RRC 9311 AP amplified radios, and the FONET digital intercom. This equipment provides long-range communications and enables the vehicles to integrate with the Topaz combat management system, which supports co-ordinated reconnaissance and strike operations.

The Gladius system was developed by WB Group and the first components were delivered to the army's 18th Artillery Regiment in December 2022. Speaking at a press briefing on 17 August, WB Group CEO Piotr Wojciechowski said that the first complete Gladius battery will be delivered in 2024. Wojciechowski told Janes that the FT-5 and the BSP-U are operating with a modified radio link that was developed for the FlyEye UAV and Warmate munition.

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