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08 September 2016

MSPO 2016: PIT-Radwar Unveils 35mm Anti-Aircraft Gun

During MSPO 2016 in Kielce, the Polish company PIT-Radwar, a subsidiary of the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ, Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa), presented a 35mm anti-aircraft gun. It is intended as a replacement of the aging and obsolete S-60 57mm anti-aircraft gun, which has been in service in the land units of the Polish Navy since the 1950s (almost all are now phased out – only two squadrons still use the S-60MB variant) and the whole BLENDA command and control system (composed of four S-60 57mm guns – still eight batteries in operational services, delivered between 1999 and 2008).

The 35mm anti-aircraft system shown at MSPO 2016 includes the WG-35 fire control vehicle that is based on the wheeled ŻUBR-P, which at the same time serves in the Polish Armed Forces as a mobile platform for SOŁA and BYSTRA radars POPRAD anti-aircraft missiles. It has an optoelectronic sensor equipped with TV and thermal cameras, IFF and laser target rangefinder. An additional tracking radar can be mounted on the WG-35. Up to eight firing units (35mm guns or POPRAD anti-aircraft missiles) can be linked up to one WG-35 vehicle.

The system has two variants of a gun, both towed and based on a licensed Oerlikon KDA cannon. One version presented in Kielce was the AG-35 gun with an optoelectronic tracking-aiming sensor (developed by PIT-Radwar in cooperation with WAT in Warsaw), equipped with TV cameras, infra-red sensors and two laser target rangefinders. It can engage targets autonomously. The second is the A-35 gun with a Prexer CP-1-35 programmable gun-sight and programmable 35x228 mm ammunition, designed by MESKO in Skarżysko Kamienna. PIT-Radwar said at MSPO 2016 that the A-35 is a standard version of a gun and needs direct support from the WG-35 fire control unit, while the AG-35 can serve more independently as it is equipped with its own above-mentioned sensors. Both versions are equipped with a built-in GPS/INS.

This system can engage targets within 5km and at altitudes of up to 3.5 kilometres. A maximum speed of a target is 600m/s. If required, this gun can efficiently destroy lightly armoured targets, including vehicles and small surface crafts, as well as guided missiles. A declared rate of fire is 550 rounds per minute. Barrel is cooled by air.

It is worth adding that this programme is being carried out for the Polish Navy; at the same time the Polish Air Force are developing a 23mm anti-aircraft gun with indigenous land-to-air GROM/PIORUM missiles (programme is codenamed PILICA). Of course, PIT-Radwar’s solution can be used by other branches of the Polish Armed Forces and foreign customers. The first live firings are scheduled for late 2016.

Robert Czulda