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Polish Armoured Vehicles And Their Modernizations.


Damian

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As I recently started to dig out in some older sources about development of AFV's in my country, I thought it would be interesting to share some informations.

 

Of course I will not present here some design from pre world war II period, but something from the post cold war period for the beggining.

 

In Poland in the 90's we had several interesting proposals for the BMP-1 modernization.

 

 

BWP-40 (or BMP-40 if you wish), modernization was purely focused on improving firepower by installing CV9040 turret armed with Bofors 40mm L70. However such configuration was too heavy and too big, also amount of ammunition taken for the gun was low. Dismounts quantity was reduced and vehicle if I am not mistaken, could not swim anymore.

 

 

A very rare photo (and the only one I could find in the internet) of the so called BMP-95, modernization was focused on improving survivability and firepower.

 

The old turret was replaced with a new one, armed with 23mm auto cannon, a 7,62mm machine gun and SPG-9. These modules we can see on hull and turret, are explosive reactive armor with ceramic backing CERAWA-1 providing protection against 14,5mm armor piercing ammunition and shaped charge warheads capable to penetrate 300mm of armor.

 

The obvious question is why CERAWA-1 modules are not better covering hull, my theory is that this was weight compromise.

 

Sources I have say that during tests, it was discovered by some proposed armor improvements decreased amphibious capabilities by 4% (this means armor from 1 to 2 tons heavy), this ended with hull top completely underwater and was unacceptable. CERAWA-1 in this configuration increased weight only by approx 900kg's.

 

There were also considered (or perhaps even performed tests) with installation of ERAWA-1 explosive reactive armor designed for T-72 tanks modernization. However such protection was considered as too heavy, and additional concern was that ERAWA-1 detonation might end up with cracks in BMP-1 hull.

 



One of the considered variants of the so called BWP-1M "Puma" with UT-30 turret system.

 

More will come soon (hopefully :)).

Edited by Damian
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The Poles always make one of the most awesome looking upgrade prototypes to their AFVs. I remember one of their earlier T-72 upgrade prototypes which had twin 20mm (?) cannon, one on either side of the turret. That BMP-95 looks awesome.

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PZA Loara SPAAG - based on modified PT-91 hull.

 

PZR Loara Anti Air Missile System - early mockup based on T-72M1 hull not modified PT-91 hull.

 

ZSU-23-4MP Biała (White), modernization of ZSU-23-4M, radar system was replaced with passive electrooptical system making vehicle harder to detect, there are additional modification to electronics, electric system and other components, additional armament are 4 PZR Grom (Thunder) missiles.

 

MT-LB based SPAAG Sopel (Icicle) and below it's upgraded variant Stalagmit (Stalagmite)

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And now something about artillery.

 

Poland slowly becomes one of the leaders in artillery system development in Europe. We have significant funding and progress in development of artillery systems.

 

First I will present is the 120mm automatic mortar system MAHSW "Rak" (Moździerz Automatyczny Huty Stalowa Wola "Rak" - Automatic Mortar of Stalowa Wola Steelworks "Cancer"). The mortar is designed as modular system, it means that turret is designed to fit wheeled, tracked platform, and also stationary positions or can be used as armament of Navy vessels.

 

MAHSW-K "Rak-K" (K - Kołowy = Wheeled).

 

 

As we can see, turret module was successfully integrated with the KTO (KTO - Kołowy Transporter Opancerzony = Wheeled Armoured Personell Transport) "Rosomak" (Wolverine) that is Polish version of the Finish Patria X-360 AMV.

 

Here is technology demonstrator of the MAHSW-G (G - Gąsienicowy = Tracked) based on the modernized 2S1/MT-LB chassis, however turret module in future will be placed on new platform designed within program "Rydwan".

 

MAHSW-K mass production will start soon.

 

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(Moździerz Automatyczny Huty Stalowa Wola "Rak" - Automatic Mortar of Stalowa Wola Steelworks "Cancer").

 

That would be a crayfish in this case, AFAIK we don't call our AFVs after diseases. Though it would be cool. :D

Edited by urbanoid
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Maybe.

 

Some more artillery.

 

 

 

This is AHS "Krab" (AHS - Armato Haubica Samobieżna - Self Propelled Gun Howitzer), this is builded on licence, British AS52 turret and gun (actually gun howitzer is manufactured by French NEXTER but soon production will switch to Rhinemetall and in future if possible finally to Poland).

 

Hull is called UPG-NG (Uniwersalne Podwozie Gąsienicowe - Nastepnej Generacji - Universal Tracked Chassis - Next Generation), it have connection to the SUM "Kalina" self proppeled mine placer and BMP-2000.

 

However in future UPG-NG will be replaced by new platform designed within program "Rydwan".

 

And some more.

 

 

WR-40 Langusta-1, soon modernization to Langusta-2 will start, it will have completely automated launcher, autoloader from Czechoslovakian RM-70 and will have reduced crew.

 

 

PZA Loara during firing.

 

 

Demonstration of our artillery systems AHS Krab and WR-40 Langusta.

 

A vizualization of how possibly will look lithweight howitzer "Kryl" placed on wheeled chassis. It is our analog to French Ceasar.

 

There is also in development our analog to American M270 MLRS codenamed "Homar".

Edited by Damian
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In Poland in the 90's we had several interesting proposals for the BMP-1 modernization.

 

Interesting subject. It's a pitty that in the end, none of the upgrade packages was selected and that the military got stuck with the original, obsolete BWP-1.

 

 

 

 

A very rare photo (and the only one I could find in the internet) of the so called BMP-95, modernization was focused on improving survivability and firepower.

 

Here's a better version:

 

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Interesting subject. It's a pitty that in the end, none of the upgrade packages was selected and that the military got stuck with the original, obsolete BWP-1.

 

That is truth, although MoD and Army decision was rational, instead of waisting a lot of money on modernization of vehicle that was inteded to be withdrawn from service as soon as possible, they wanted to focus on more perspective design. The problem was that we are still waiting for this new design. Hopefully new IFV will be fielded as soon as possible when the lightweight variant of the new modular platform "Rydwan" will be ready for production.

 

BTW. Thanks for the photos.

Edited by Damian
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And a very interesting anti-air/anti-tank variant of the Rosomak APC.

 

 

The turret module is codenamed "Amur".

 

Sorry for so many posts, but forum system do not allow to place many photos in a single post.

Edited by Damian
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Important information, I don't know whether she is bad or rather good and rational.

They decided to delete of the part of the programme "Rydwan", responsible for designing the new platform from scratch. It this way most probably happened because of costs.

At present MoD after analysing available options, decided on the following actions.

In Poland unmanned turret system armed the with the guns of calibre 120mm, 30mm and ATGM will be designed and so on. There will be produced Polish analogues or purchased under licence and polonized such design elements like engines, weaponry (the HSW says about possibilities of opening of production line of guns of different type), blocks of transmission, electronics and the like

Howeverplatform as such, will be purchased in the form of licence of the already existing design, the MoD initially began conversations on three structures - CV90, ASCOD and SPz Puma.

However, the concept of multirole modular combat platform is not dead, it is just that chassis will be based on foreing design to reduce costs and risks.

Edited by Damian
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Why not move forward with vehicles based on the "Anders" platform instead of a foreign design?

 

Is there any plan to upgrade Polish Leopard 2A4s?

 

Do you have any details on the 60mm gun planned for the BWP-2000? Quite a heavy caliber for an IFV.

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Why not move forward with vehicles based on the "Anders" platform instead of a foreign design?

 

You know what, I am confused myself and most of people in Poland interested in this subject. WPB "Anders" is not designed per requirements, per requirements was under development new platform WPB "Rydwan", however one source, rather respected one called "Raport-WTO" which is one of the several military magazines in Poland, said that new platform will be based on foreing chassis, now the best part, only "Raport-WTO" claims such development, but other reliable and respected sources do not mention anything of this, also MoD do not confirmed such informations in any known source.

 

Is there any plan to upgrade Polish Leopard 2A4s?

 

Yes, modernization is called Leopard 2PL, although final configuration is not known yet, should be this year, and most probably revealed on MSPO exhibition in september. Also it is planned that later, we will also upgrade Leopard 2A5's we want to purchase, to Leopard 2PL standard.

 

Do you have any details on the 60mm gun planned for the BWP-2000? Quite a heavy caliber for an IFV.

 

Not much, besides that it was Italian OTO Melara design.

Edited by Damian
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I really dig the idea of an external RCL mount though popping the hatch to load it might be a tad....exciting.

 

Then you will love this lash-up. Ferret Mk1s with M40 106mm recoilless anti-tank guns, used by SA Army Parabats in the '80s. Obviously could only be fired from outside the vehicle:

 

 

106s are still used by the Parabats but now towed by Gecko 8x8 ATVs.

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T-55AM "Merida" was a Polish modification, comparable with T-55AM2B and T-55M, it seems that we also used BDD armor. Fire control system was however made in Poland, it's name was (obviously) "Merida", there were approx 600 T-55A modernized to this standard, besides the basic T-55AM "Merida" there were also command versions T-55AD-1M and T-55AD-2M, as well as engineering vehicle T-55AMS.

 

Besides new FCS, vehicle was also equipped with laser warning equipment WPL-1 "Bobrawa", smoke dischargers WPD-1 "Tellur" and WWGD-1 "Erb", as well as newer NBC protection system.

 

Gun barrel received thermal shroud.

Edited by Damian
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And this is "Opal" a modified Polish variant of the well known MT-LB. "Opal" was a basis for several different specialized vehicles, there were also two versions of "Opal".

 

Specialized versions are:

 

Opal-1:

WPT Mors - ARV

Bor - prototype ammunition carrier

TRI Hors - Engineering vehicle

TRI-D Durian - improved version of TRI Hors

ZWD-10R Łowcza 3 - automated command vehicle for anti air defence

Lotos - MEDEVAC variant

Sopel - lightweight anti air vehicle (his photo is on the previous page)

 

Opal-2:

Stalagmit - Improved version of Sopel

ISM Kroton - mine layer

 

 

This is SUM "Kalina", self propelled mine layer, which is based on SPG-1M chassis and share the same components with BWP-2000.

Edited by Damian
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Below concept images of PT-2001 "Gepard":

 

This one is from Bumar, turret was French.

 

And here is concept image of OBRUM design.

 

In the end as winner in competition, ended OBRUM's project, however due to financial problems, further works were posponed and later cancelled.

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