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IDET 2021: WB Group Showcases Recce, Strike and Combat Management

WARMATE, U-GATE and TOPAZ on Prominent Display

WB Group, the largest privately-owned provider of defence and information technology solutions in Poland, exhibited a range of its key products at IDET in Brno last week, ranging from loitering munitions to UAS, tactical radios and combat management integration systems.

WARMATE is a family of fully autonomous, flexible and expendable loitering munitions and reconnaissance systems, produced by WB Electronics and Flytronic, subsidiary companies of the group. It currently includes the original version, the larger and upgraded WARMATE 2 combat air vehicle (AV) with an integral ground control station (GCS) and terminal (GCT), plus the WARMATE TL [Tube Launched] vehicular UAV, featuring folding wings for stabilisation and the WARTUBE canister-launcher. These systems are complemented by the WARMATE R loitering reconnaissance system, based on the original fuselage and ground segment, while alternative strike or observation payloads can also be employed. In addition, Flytronic’s FLYEYE mini-UAS represents a modular and portable reconnaissance capability, with no requirement for a dedicated launcher and with minimal demands on logistics support, personnel or ground control.

Additional featured product lines included the U-GATE dismounted observation and command system for special forces, using augmented reality (AR) technology, virtual GCS and PERAD broadband personal radio, as well as the SDR Comp@n family of hand-held and vehicle-mounted tactical radio stations. Another key capability produced by the company is TOPAZ (by WB Electronics), a fully integrated combat management system (ICMS) featuring open, modular and scalable architecture. Its individual functional modules include TOPAZ Strike (addressing strike, air strike and loitering munitions capabilities), Fires (automated fire control system functions and integration of fire support assets), Tactics (featuring C4ISR, battlefield management system and interoperability), Recon (reconnaissance, observation and battlefield situational awareness) and Logistics (encompassing supplies, service support and equipment modernisation). The key component of TOPAZ is the modular FONET digital voice and data communications platform and tactical network backbone, integrating C4ISTAR, battle management and fire control equipment elements of tactical ground vehicles.

In the context of IDET, it is important to note that this system is already in service with the Army of the Czech Republic (ACR). However, as it was not procured directly from WB Group but from US-based Harris Corporation (now L3Harris Technologies) which manufactures its components on the basis of a license agreement with the Polish company, it does not use the FONET brand name. This alone is a remarkable testament to the innovation potential and general strength of WB, as it is very unusual for a Central European producer to achieve such an arrangement with a global supplier of defence mission and communications solutions.

Tomás Chlebecek reporting from Brno for MON

The tube-launched variant of the WARMATE loitering munition. (Photo: WB Group)

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