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Poland Armed Forces Modernization.

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Excellent information, very interesting too see. I also like the fact that a friendly nation in our rear is bolstering its military. Given the current state of affairs, it might be a deterrent for further escalation in the east. (mods, remove post if considered political).

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On 7.03.2019 at 11:19 AM, Batura said:

Excellent information, very interesting too see. I also like the fact that a friendly nation in our rear is bolstering its military. Given the current state of affairs, it might be a deterrent for further escalation in the east. (mods, remove post if considered political).

Thanks. :)



From 11th Armored Cavalry Division facebook fanpage.

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  • 1 year later...

Huyndai Rotem presented this year at MSPO 2020 expo, their redesigned K2 as K2PL for Polish Army.







Changes in design:

1. Driver station moved to the hull center longitudinal axis.
2. Hull ammo storage will be moved to a new isolated magazine with blow off panels between turret and engine compartment.
3. Reinforced armor protection, especially on sides of the turret and hull.
4. Turret is enlarged.
5. Weight increases from 55 metric tons of basic K2 to +/- ~60 metric tons for K2PL.


As for armor physicall thickness, it is most likely something like this:

Turret front - ~900-1000mm.
Turret sides - ~300-400mm.
Hull front - ~700-800mm.
Hull sides - ~40-80mm hull sides + ~200-300mm heavy side skirts.


Turret roof also is reinforced vs artillery submunitions.

Hyundai Rotem says they offer Poland 100% transfer of technology and full license with rights for export. Besides MBT variant, Hyundai Rotem is working also on ARV, AEV and AVLB based on K2PL.

This is extremely interesting offer, but more perfected design and more informations will most likely be disclosed in 2021 during next edition of MSPO expo.

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While I suspect that they could compete with the Leo 2 on a price level, I wonder what customers would purchase them. Those that have Leopards will continue using them. France will stick to their Leclercs. I don't see Italy giving up their Arietes for Polish license-built Korean tanks. That leaves Czechia, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria. Admittedly, that could be a market.

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When it comes to Poland, new tank that most likely just like it's program will be codenamed Wilk (Wolf), would gradually replace all currently used tank types in Polish Armed Forces inventory.

So first to be replaced are T-72M and T-72M1 tanks (currently overhauled and modified to T-72MR and T-72M1R standard). Second in line to be replaced are PT-91 tanks. Then Leopard 2A4/Leopard 2PL tanks and last ones will be Leopard 2A5's.


We can assume that first to receive new tanks would be 11th Armored Cavalry Division with it's 10th and 34th Armored Cavalry Brigades. So we can estimate that first batch of tanks would be around 250. All Leopard 2's (Leopard 2A4/Leopard 2PL and Leopard 2A5) can be then moved to the 18th Mechanized Division. While 12th and 16th Mechanized Divisions in time would replace their T-72 and PT-91 tanks with new vehicle. So 18th Mechanized Division would be last to be rearmed.

This means that if MoD would want to keep current number of tank battalions, Poland would need to manufacture around 800-1000 new tanks. These numbers include both tanks in active service + tanks used for training + tanks in reserve stocks. Polish Army have 58 tanks in a single tank battalion.


Also as I have contact with chief editor of Armadne Noviny military magazine from Czech Republic, it seems that Czechs are greatly interested in development of K2PL. So some export potential is there for various countries that are around us.


I also forgot to add. Our IFV Borsuk (Badger) program is moving forward as well. At the moment there is one technology demonstrator and two prototypes build. The latest prototype is scheduled to be tested at Drawko Pomorskie Training Area (proving grounds) this month.

Here is a photo of that last prototype hull during welding process.




It is interesting to note that Borsuk have spaced armor in front of it's hull. This empty cavity can have various purposes, it can hold a fuel tank, or perhaps it is completely empty to increase vehicle buoyancy when it is swimming as it is amphibious vehicle.

Borsuk hull from the front is said to be completely immune to AP ammo in 30x165mm calliber typical for Russian 30mm 2A42 and 2A72 autocannons. Turret is completely unmanned Polish ZSSW-30 turret armed with 30mm Mk44S Bushmaster II, 7.62mm UKM-2000C coaxial machine gun, and 2x Spike LR ATGM's.



It is also said that HSW started some development work on a second version of Borsuk IFV, which will be a heavy IFV, however it is still in early R&D phase and there is still no official requirement for it.


Also Leopard 2A4's are being now upgraded to Leopard 2PL standard.





5 Leopard 2PL tanks had been already delivered to Polish Army, 3 more are awaiting to be handed over, and more are being upgraded at ZMBŁ factory. One of the 5 first tanks was shown at MSPO 2020.



T-72MR and T-72M1R tanks are also being delivered to the Army.





Edited by Damian90
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So it seems that first unit that receives newly upgraded Leopard 2A4's to Leopard 2PL standard is 1st Armored Brigade stationing in Warsaw capital city. At this moment around 8 tanks should be handed over to the Polish Army, so two fill platoons. 1st Armored Brigade will use a combination of 105 Leopard 2A5's and 14 Leopard 2PL's. While rest of the Leopard 2A4's, which is 128 tanks will be also upgraded to Leopard 2PL standard and will be used by 10th Armored Cavalry Brigade. Also these photos are proof that Leopard 2PL's handed over to 1st Armored Brigade are at their first excercices at Nowa Dęba Training Area.

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This is a second prototype of the new Polish IFV Borsuk (Badger). This second prototype was recently tested at Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area. From what we know tests went very well. If everything else goes well mass production is scheduled to begin in 2022/2023.

Polish Army will need around 848-928 Borsuk in IFV variant.

Planned are also:

C2 variant Oset - 151 vehicles.
MEDEVAC variant Gotem - 115 vehicles.
RECON variant Żuk - 144 vehicles.
ARV variant Gekon - 76 vehicles.
CBRN variant Ares - 29 vehicles.
Self propelled gun-mortar M120G Rak - 128 vehicles.

In total it gives 1491-1571 vehicles of the Borsuk family.

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Borsuk (Badger) tracked IFV and Rosomak (Wolverine) wheeled IFV , both with ZSSW-30 unmanned turret, armed with 30mm Mk44S Bushmaster II chain gun, 7.62mm UKM-2000C coaxial machine gun and Spike ATGM launcher.


HSW project of a lightweight turret, that can be used for example in BMP-1 modernization. Armed with 30mm Mk44S Bushmaster II turret, 7.62mm UKM-2000C coaxial machine gun and Spike ATGM's. Such lightweight turret can find other applications.




Edited by Damian90
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Some simulations were done in context of the new Polish 120x570mm APFSDS the Pz531 Mk2.

Simulation considered 6 various armor types with different internal design and thickness of the entire array. Arrays are designated from W1 to W6.




Their thickness is.


W1 7 x 40 = 280/60° = 560mm
W2 7 x 40 + 6 x 20 = 400/60° = 800mm
W3 2 x 40 + 10 x 20+ 11 x 20 = 500/60° = 1,000mm
W4 2 x 40 + 20 x 10 + 21 x 20 = 700/60° = 1,400mm
W5 2 x 40 + 8 x 20 + 9 x 20 = 420/60° = 840mm
W6 4 x 40 + 3 x 80 = 400/60° = 800mm


Here are test results.



Only armor arrays W4 and W6 were not pierced by Pz531 Mk2.

@Ssnake @dejawolf This might interest you.

AFAIK 40 to 60 Pz531 Mk2 were manufactured for tests and are now going through test and evaluation phase, however a lot is still kept in secret.

Here is early photo of Pz531 Mk2 and comparision between Pz531 Mk1 and Pz531 Mk2.


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Update on the Polish Army next MBT program codename "Wilk" ("Wolf").

At the moment there are several options considered.


1. Domestic design prepared by OBRUM, we do not know it's current stage at the moment but it's possible it will be a design with unmanned turret. Like this early graphic. Because it is domestic design, it can be considered as one of the favorites.




2. US offers M1 Abrams tank, however we do not know what variants are offered and other details of the offer at this stage. However M1 is definately considered as one of the favorites.



3. Sout Korea with K2PL. Here we know the most. South Korea offers full technology transfer and polonization. K2PL itself is newly designed, better turret and hull for K2 Black Panther subsystems. South Korea offers to fund R&D phase and provide Poland with preferential credits to build production capabilities in Poland. Besides that this offer includes large cooperation in terms of both military and civilian industry. K2PL is considered as one of the favorites, also because South Korea is investing a lot in Poland, including large Ion-Lithium batteries factory and new Central Airport Hub.




4. Recently information was shown that Deputy Minister of the State Assets Zbigniew Gryglas, was talking with Turkish representatives of the Turkish Defense Cooperation. So there is possibility that Turkey might offer Altay MBT. No more details are known at this moment.




We need probably need to wait to MSPO expo this year to know more.

But the fact is, more competition is good.

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Borsuk IFV is moving slowly towards series production. We only need to complete it's final qualification trails and do the paper work.



Right now vehicle is tested by Polish Ground Forces at Nowa Dęba training grounds.




It have ramp and a door in ramp.


Access to the unmanned ZSSW-30 is also provided from the vehicle interior.



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Some more informations about Borsuk IFV. 3 vehicles were built so far, a pre prototype (model), 1st prototype which was used for ballistic tests, and 2nd prototype currently tested. Polish goverment so far invested 75 mln PLN in to the project, which translates to ~20 mln USD.

Through entire 2021 vehicle will go through initial factory trails. In 2022 it will go through state/military qualification trails, if successfull, 2023/2024 contract will be signed and manufacturing phase will commence.

It is also confirmed by HSW, that they are working on heavy IFV, so called "Heavy Borsuk", but at the moment no details had been provided.

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