Radars manufactured by a Hungarian defence industrial company are going to support the British Armed Forces with frontline threat detection. This is not the first time that Pro Patria has found a buyer for its military equipment in Europe.
On 23 May 2023, Elbit Systems UK, a subsidiary of the Israeli Elbit Systems announced that the company has been awarded a contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide a series of ground-based surveillance radars to the British armed forces to support frontline threat detection.
The contract is about the procurement of 90 ground-based surveillance radars with a follow-on option for an additional 40 systems. The technology will be delivered throughout 2023 and 2024.
Later on, the Hungarian defence company Pro Patria announced on its LinkedIn page that it would subcontract with Elbit UK to meet the UK Ministry of Defence’s orders for the PGSR-3i Beagle portable ground surveillance radars.
According to Pro Patria’s webpage, the PGSR-3i
‘Beagle’ is a battlefield-proven lightweight man-portable FMCW-radar (Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave)
capable of intercepting, detecting and following targets moving on or close to the ground. The radar can detect pedestrians at 8 to 10 km and vehicles at a distance of 15 to 24 km. Its lightweight (c.a. 50 kilograms) allows for quick and easy transportation to the scene in only two backpacks, can be set up within 5 minutes and can be operated by two soldiers. It is also mountable on vehicles or field posts as needed. The radars are durable and withstand harsh environmental conditions, including trouble-free operation within a temperature range between -32 and +50 degrees centigrade. Beagles are in operation as the primary solution in several NATO member and partner countries, with the best usability rate mostly for the border guard, battlefield surveillance as well as protection of pipelines and sensitive infrastructure. A PGSR-3i “Beagle” is a licenced variant of Elbit Systems Foxtrack radars built in Hungary.
On the current sale of the system to the British Armed Forces Martin Fausset, CEO of Elbit Systems UK said: ‘Elbit Systems UK has a deep understanding of the threat environment in which our servicemen and women operate. By offering a portable solution for medium- and short-range target detection, Elbit Systems UK is continuing to support the UK Ministry of Defence in providing leading situational awareness for those on the front line, using some of the best technology available.’
This is not the first contract Pro Patria has been awarded by a European customer recently. At the end of February, Polish Armed Forces ordered 18 PGSR-3i Beagle MK II surface reconnaissance radars from the Hungarian company, announced Lt. Col. Krzysztof Płatek, spokesman for the Polish Armament Agency. In addition to the radars, the Hungarian company will provide training and logistics services under the contract worth 13 million zlotys (EUR 2.8 million). Pro Patria radars have been integrated into the Polish Rosomak WSRiD (Multi-sensor Reconnaissance and Command System) recce platforms.
According to the summary of Világgazdaság, Pro Patria is a privately owned defence company with a history of more than 20 years. Owned 100 per cent by Hungarians, the company employs around 50 people at its headquarters in Budapest, and it is involved in the production of defence industrial products, from design and development to manufacturing. Most of its equipment is exported and sold to international clients around the world. The company’s products are used not by Hungary on its southern border but present in Austria, Ireland, Romania and Bulgaria. Markets in Africa are also growing, as are those in Asia. Pro Patria have seen significant orders from post-Soviet countries too and the company is planning to enter the Indochina region’s markets soon.