To fill the gap in its multi-layered air defense system, Poland has developed a short-range air defense system, called Pilica anti-aircraft missile and artillery system (PSR-A).
PSR-A is capable of destroying aerial targets, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), aircraft, helicopters, and cruise missiles.
The initial contract was awarded to PGZ PILICA Group in 2016 for a value of more than $200 million. In 2018, an annex to the contract was signed, directing the serial production system. In October 2020, PSR-A Pilica completed delivery and acceptance tests, opening the way for deliveries of the system to the Polish Armed Forces.
PSR-A Pilica serves as the lowest layer of air defense against drones, helicopters, airplanes and cruise missiles at a distance of up to 6,500 m, and point protection of important areas or objects. The main armament of the Pilica system is the ZUR-23-2SP Jodek missile and artillery set consisting of a double anti-aircraft gun, with a theoretical rate of fire of 2,000 rounds/min and an effective fire range of up to 3 km. It is a Polish modification of the 23 mm ZU-23-2 gun, combined with two PPZR Grom or Piorun missile launchers, with a range of 6.5 km.
The ZUR-23-2SP 23mm automatic cannon can fire different types of ammunition including the API (armor-piercing), HEI-T (High Explosive Incendiary Tracer), APDS-T (Armour-piercing discarding sabot) and FAPDS-T (Frangible Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot). It can be also used against land targets as unarmored and lightly armored combat vehicles.
A single battery consists of six fire units, each of which consists of the ZUR-23-2SP Jodek missile and artillery set. Each fire unit has its own GOS-1 optoelectronic head, equipped with a thermal imaging camera, TV camera and a laser rangefinder, which enables independent operation in emergency mode.
Weapon control is fully automatic, using a computerized guidance system. It works in a semi-automatic system, targeting targets and destroying them after confirmation by the operator. The targeting system is integrated with the tracking system and the IFF system, which is able to block the weapon and stop firing when the target is identified by the IFF system as its own or allied aircraft. The pilica can be operated remotely. In the event of a power failure, it is possible to operate the fire effector in manual mode.
The set can fire both from the ground and an artillery tractor. The set is equipped with a stabilized optoelectronic head operating in the day-night mode, which can work independently of the weapon in terms of observation, detection and identification of targets. The head is an element of the guidance system, and a source of information for the entire system. Each set is equipped with a laser warning receiver.