ADEX 2018: Belarus continues delivery of Polonez multiple launch rocket systems to Azerbaijan

Belarus is continuing to deliver the Polonez multiple rocket launch (MRL) system to Azerbaijan, a source from Belarusian industry said at the 3rd Azerbaijan International Defence Exhibition (ADEX 2018) in Baku.

ADEX 2018 Azerbaijan international defence exhibition Baku 36
Azerbaijani Army's Polonez MRLS launcher (R) and combat control (L) vehicles showcased at ADEX 2018
(Picture source Army Recognition)

"Another Polonez MRL battery has been recently shipped to Azerbaijan," the source said.

The Armed Forces of Azerbaijan operate the Polonez MRL system. A combat vehicle of the Polonez is showcased at the ADEX 2018 defense show. The contract between Belarus and Azerbaijan for 10 Polonez systems was disclosed in April.

The baseline variant of the Polonez was fitted with the Chinese-originated A200 rocket. However, the latest modification of the MRL system features Belarusian-made munitions. "All components of the new rocket, including the guidance system, are made in Belarus, except for the jet engine. The level of local manufacturing has reached 90%. We are now considering an indigenous replacement for the foreign-originated powerplant of the munition," the source added.

Each Polonez combat vehicle carries eight high-precision rockets with separate guidance units. The baseline and upgraded variants of the MRL system have firing ranges of 200 km and 300 km, respectively. The Polonez is based on an MZKT-7930-family heavy truck that has a payload capacity of 24,000 kg, a speed of up to 70 km/h, and a road range of 1,000 km.

The Polonez MLRS can be fitted with rockets and guided missiles. At the MILEX 2017 defense show, the M20 single-stage solid-propellant guided missile for the system was unveiled. According to the official information issued by the Belarusian defense industry, the M20 has a length of nearly 8 m, a weight of nearly 4 t and a firing range of about 280 km. The containerized missile is armed with a 480 kg high-explosive (HE) warhead. According to Belarusian media outlets, the M20 may have been developed in conjunction with the Chinese industry.