Belarusian Polonez Multiple Launch Rocket System

The Polonez Multiple Launch Rocket System is a Belarusian 300 mm rocket artillery system of a launcher unit comprising 8 rockets packaged in two four-rocket pods mounted on an MZKT-7930 vehicle developed by state-owned Foreign Trade Unitary Enterprise (SFTUE) BelSpetsVneshTechnika (BSVT). The Polonez is a joint venture of the Sino-Belarus military industry. The missile is based on the Chinese A200 and A300 MLRS. The Polonez MLRS effectiveness is similar to that of the Russian-made the Iskanders short-range ballistic missile but a cheaper alternative to the Iskander SRBM and Chinese M20 missile.

Development of Polonez

The system was first presented publicly at this year’s May 9 2015 Victory Day Parade in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk and promises a range of up to 200 kilometres (124 miles), similar to that of the Chinese A200 MLRS, which was unveiled in 2011.

Although not directly admitted by Belorussian officials, the original missiles were A200s supplied by China. It is unclear if the missile used by the Polonez-M system is an improved version developed by Belarus or the A300 that is now being promoted by the Chinese company ALIT. The development of Polonez is vastly assisted by the by Beijing-based China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology and China Aerospace Long March International Co. Ltd (ALIT).

Design of Polonez

Polonez uses 300 mm rockets with a length of 7 m. The stabiliser group is 0.62 m. The startup unit consists of 8 missiles full of two four bars, mounted on an MZKT-7930 car

The MLRS carries two sets of quadruple launchers housing 300mm solid propellant rockets in ready-to-launch positions. Each rocket can be armed with three types of warheads, including high-explosive (HE), high-explosive fragmentation (HEF), and fragmentation armour piercing cluster (FSPC) rounds.

The Polonez is a mobile multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) with single and salvo launch capability and a range of 200 kilometres. Its solid propellant rockets can strike eight targets simultaneously with a probable circular error (CEP) of 30 meters.

The transponder and the launch platform are based on the MZKT-7930–300 8×8 cross-country truck chassis. The MZKT-793000–300 is powered by YaMZ-846 turbocharged diesel engine, which produces a maximum power output of 500hp.

Capability

MRLS Polonez is designed to deliver strikes against enemy personnel in the open and in shelters as well as unarmored and armoured fighting vehicles and special vehicles, artillery units, missile systems and air defence missile systems, aircraft at airfields. MRLS Polonez can deliver strikes as far as 50–200km with a high degree of precision.

Operational History

The first live fire test of the multiple-launch rocket system Polonez took place in Gomel Oblast on 16 June 2016, BelTA has been told. As part of the live fire test, unmanned aerial vehicles were used to feed real-time data about the target of the multiple-launch rocket system. The first missile hit its target with a 1.5 meter (5 foot) accuracy, while the second missile reached its target with a 10-meter accuracy, he added, praising the result and stressing that the system was created within the last two years.
 In May 2018, Belarus conducted Polonez multiple rocket launcher exercises in the Sary-Shagan training area in Kazakhstan with up to 100 units of equipment, and over 200 personnel were engaged in the joint exercise.

Variants

The Polonez launcher carries eight 301 mm guided munitions that have a range of 300 km and a warhead weighing 140 kg. That would make it the longer-range Polonez-M version Belarus announced in 2017 as the original was stated to have a range of 200 km.

Belarus unveiled a new version of missiles named Polonez-M multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS) at the MILEX 2017 Exibition. According to the official source, the new missiles or rockets have a range of 280 km, a warhead of 480 kg compared to the just over 150 kg from the base version of 300 mm rockets.

Current Operators:

Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) revealed on 11 June 2018 that it had acquired Belarussian Polonez. Azerbaijan Army has acquired 10 Polonez MLRS from Belarus after Armenia successfully blocked delivery of Russian-made Iskander SRBM to Azerbaijan. Amenia currently operates Iskander SRBM. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Army Chief of Staff Ilham Aliyev attended the opening of the new military unit of the Defense Ministry’s Missile Troops on June 11 2018. At the official ceremony, the latest Polonez systems were first publicly released.

The Polonez system has entered into service of the Belarusian army in 2016.