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Chemical Works Nitro-Chem, a member of the Polish Armaments Group (Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa, PGZ), received a certificate allowing it to manufacture Mark (Mk) 82 unguided, low-drag general purpose bombs, which are in the inventory of the Polish Air Force and arm the F-16C/D-52+ multirole fighter aircraft, therefore concluding the almost two years long technology transfer process.

The certification of Nitro-Chem is an outcome of an agreement signed in November 2017 between the Polish company and RWM Italia, a member of the Rheinmetall Defence group. This document called for setting up cooperation between two entities in production of the family of U.S. designed Mk 80 general purpose bombs.

“We are happy to make another step in cooperation with Rheinmetall Defence,” said Sebastian Chwalek, Vice President of the Management Board of PGZ. “Production of the Mk 82 general purpose bombs in Poland will ensure country’s security, by improving manufacturing capabilities and enhancing the level of its independence. Furthermore, it will give [us] the possibility of offering the Polish manufactured bombs on export markets. Therefore, Nitro-Chem’s business activity is in pace with our strategy of polonization of weapon systems which are in the inventory of the Polish Armed Forces.”

In order to receive this certification Nitro-Chem had to improve its manufacturing capabilities by making a number of investments. These included reconstruction or conversion of company’s production infrastructure, acquisition of new equipment and training of the personnel.

“A year and a half of hard work resulted in achieving by Nitro-Chem new capabilities to manufacture modern weapon systems. We commence this process by meeting the demand of the Polish Air Force. This year we will manufacture the first batch of 200 bombs,” said Krzysztof Kozlowski, CEO of Nitro-Chem, who was accompanied by the Vice President of RWM Italia, Fabio Sgarzi, during the official certification ceremony.

According to Nitro-Chem, Mk 82 general purpose bombs, which are manufactured in Poland and certified by RWM Italia, meet all the qualitative requirements and are fully interchangeable with the Italian-manufactured weapon systems of this kind. Furthermore, it was stated that “Polish” Mk 82 bombs will be compatible with guidance systems offered by Raytheon or Boeing, hence allowing for conversion into guided weapon systems, like GBU-12 or GBU-38.

Looking into the future, Nitro-Chem intends to become one of the major providers of modern weapon systems for the future fleet of Polish F-35A Lightning II multirole fighter aircraft, which the country plans to procure. Furthermore, the company is optimistic about looking for sales opportunities on export markets, as now it can offer a product of the same quality as other manufacturers, but in a competitive price due to lower production costs.

Michal Jarocki