On 16 June, rocket troops and artillery units of the Belarusian Armed Forces conducted a first live-fire test of the Polonez MLRS in Gomel region.
The firing was conducted with the use of unmanned aircraft systems to provide real-time data, transmit the data to the system and hit the target.
The live-fire test took place following state trials to confirm the system’s specifications when firing at maximum range.
The system will enter service with the rocket troops of the Belarusian Armed Forces in 2016. It is designed to destroy unsheltered and sheltered personnel, unarmoured and armoured military hardware, artillery systems, missile and surface-to-air missile systems, aircraft at base airfields and other targets at a distance of 50 to 200 km with high accuracy.
The Polonez MLRS has been developed by Belarusian defence companies and is intended to join the family of MLRSs in service with the Belarusian Army. One Polonez system can accurately hit eight targets simultaneously, and deviation from the assigned coordinates at a maximum distance is less than 30 metres. Such accuracy combined with other advantages allows the system to accomplish numerous tasks specific to operational-tactical missiles systems and bomber aircraft.
According to State Secretary of the Belarusian Security Council Lt. Gen. Stanislav Zas, the live-fire test was successful and the system is ready for use in the Armed Forces.
State Secretary of the Security Council stressed that the firings were not a demonstration of military force but a planned activity aimed at re-equipping our Army. We have enhanced deterrence capability against encroachments on Belarusian independence. As the President requires, in terms of equipment our Armed Forces must meet present-day challenges.
Chairman of the State Military Industrial Committee (Goscomvoyenprom) Lt. Gen. Sergei Gurulev noted that such weapon systems were being developed in other countries, too. Two years ago, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko set Goscomvoyenprom the task of developing powerful precision missiles. The task has been successfully accomplished by defence companies.
In the future, the Goscomvoyenprom companies will be working on improving the system. It is assumed that its range will reach 300 km. At the same time, new missile, anti-tank and other systems will be developed.
“The State Military Industrial Committee has done a large amount of complicated and responsible work,” said Belarusian Defence Minister Lt. Gen. Andrei Ravkov. “The Belarusian Army will receive a combat system that will considerably improve the country’s defence capability. We will continue our work on equipping the Armed Forces with new advanced systems in subsequent years,” he added.
The Polonez is a new Belarusian multiple launch rocket system. It was developed to replace older Soviet 220-mm Uragan and 300-mm Smerch artillery rocket systems. It is likely that development of the Polonez was assisted by China. The «Polonez» multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) using a China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) 200 km-range A200 guided rocket.
The Polonez system was first unveiled at the May 9, 2015 Victory Day Parade in Minsk.