Polish Armed Forces Procure the First Borsuk IFVs
Polish Armed Forces would receive 4 extra prototypes of the new generation Borsuk amphibious IFVs. The vehicles are procured as a part of a contract related to a development study conducted at the National Centre for Research and Development.
Major Krzysztof Płatek, the spokesman for the Armament Agency, announced that the agreement was signed via his Twitter account. "Within the framework of R&D study conducted at the National Centre for Research and Development, 4 extra Borsuk IFV prototypes have been contracted. Preliminary tests of the existing prototype have been finalized. Soon, a qualification test programme would begin. After that, negotiation is expected to be launched, concerning the deliveries of the series-manufactured vehicles".,Płatek said
W ramach pracy badawczo-rozwojowej w NCBR zakontraktowane zostały 4 dodatkowe prototypy BWP #Borsuk. Badania wstępne istniejącego prototypu są na ukończeniu. Niebawem rozpoczną się badania kwalifikacyjne, a po ich zakończeniu negocjacje na dostawy wozów seryjnych. pic.twitter.com/3kTmOthQjz— Krzysztof Płatek (@krzysztof_atek) April 27, 2022
The new, amphibious Borsuk IFV, has been brought to life via a development programme launched by the National Centre for Research and Development, and pursued by a consortium led by HSW. The previously released information suggests that the factory test programme is scheduled to be finalized in mid-2022. The qualification test programme, and series manufacturing constitute the upcoming steps.
The talks regarding the annex to the agreement on the development of the Borsuk IFV, which would result in the procurement of another 4 prototypes, have been going on since last year. The delivery of those prototypes would make it possible to accelerate the qualification test programme and the process of commissioning the new platform. Procurement of small lots of vehicles, or other weapons systems, as the R&D effort is underway, to accelerate the finalization of the programme is a common practice, broadly employed by the leading NATO member states, including the United States.
Sebastian Chwałek, President of the PGZ Group to which the HSW S.A. company belongs, recently outlined the preparatory steps taken concerning the Borsuk manufacturing process, in an interview we did with him. "Considering the quantitative status of the IFVs currently operated by the Polish Armed Forces, as well as the necessity to quantitatively expand the military, it needs to be said that there need to be much more vehicles in use, than the numbers operated now. We are speaking about hundreds, if not a thousand of NBPWP Borsuk vehicles. This is also a challenge for us - if the end-user gets his first test examples this year, next year the effort would be formally finalized, including feedback on the operational use of the NBPWP platform. And then, a decision should be made to launch series manufacturing, with the simultaneous need to translate ideas and requests submitted by the military", Chwałek said.
Borsuk is a Polish-made tracked IFV weighing 28 tonnes (a bit less than the western designs that have been weighing from 30 to more than 40 tonnes). It stems from a compromise, between the protection levels, and the amphibious capabilities requirements, defined for this design from the very inception.
This results on the ground of the unchanged concept adopted for the Polish mechanized units, the vehicles of which shall be able to cross water obstacles in an amphibious setting which would increase the levels of operational freedom. The vehicle can use extra armor by design, and thus offer increased levels of protection This would at a cost of the amphibious capability. In the longer run, an active protection system can also be fitted onto the vehicle.
The amphibious capability requirement also determines the Borusk's silhouette, since the hull had to follow certain design guidelines to provide proper displacement. The vehicle features a power-pack developed by WZM - featuring a 720HP MTU engine and Allison/Caterpillar gearbox. Altogether, the applied engine provides a very good power-to-weight ratio. Borsuk also features a hydropneumatic suspension system. Along with amphibious capability, the vehicle is highly mobile.
The ZSSW-30 turret is another important component of the Borsuk IFV. It is a Polish-made turret, manufactured and developed by a consortium formed by HSW S.A. and WB Electronics. The turret has passed the qualification test programme last year. The procurement process has been already launched, regarding the first batch of turrets expected to be destined for the Rosomak APC first.
The basic variant of the Borsuk IFV is to be manned by a crew of three - commander, driver, gunner, plus six troops, squad leader included. The interior has been designed with ergonomics in mind. Borsuk would also be equipped with modern communication assets.
The ZSSW-30 turret has been fitted with a 30 mm Mk 44/S Bushmaster II gun. It can be quickly converted to the 40 mm caliber, and it can utilize ABM rounds. The turret also features a dual Spike ATGM launcher and a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun. The system as such is remotely controlled, from the inside of the vehicle. It features an advanced fire control system that integrates all systems within a single control panel. It also features an auto tracker, and an independent optoelectronic sensor for the commander, enabling the hunter-killer/killer-killer capability. The optoelectronic systems have been delivered by PCO.
The NPBWP Borsuk platform is a design that is expected to replace the obsolete BWP-1 vehicles in the Polish mechanized component. The latter have not been modernized since the early 1970s - when they were first commissioned. A replacement is required urgently. Notably, modernization of the BWP-1 platform is planned to happen in parallel to the introduction of the Borsuk vehicle. Produkcja planowanych do wprowadzenia . Specialist variants of the Borsuk IFV are also expected to be introduced - including ARV, command vehicle, reconnaissance, or MEDEVAC platform.