Seven bidders expressed their will to participate in a tender, the goal of which would be to acquire heavy tank transporters for the Polish military. The newly acquired platforms are to allow the user to carry the heaviest of the NATO main battle tanks. The group of bidders includes Polish and foreign manufacturers or their representatives, as well as some importers. Having a proper number of platforms as such may bear a key relevance, when it comes to the ability to host the NATO forces on deployment in Poland.
Lt. Col. Robert Wincencik of the Armament Inspectorate told us that seven bidders have made their submissions in the procurement procedure concerning the heavy tracked vehicle transporters. The entities mentioned above include:
- Szczęśniak Pojazdy Specjalne Sp. z o.o.;
- EG Polska Sp. z o.o.;
- Rheinmetall Defence Polska Sp. z o.o.;
- Jelcz Sp. z o.o.;
- A joint submission made by:
- Dobrowolski Sp. z o.o.,
- Autobox Innovations Sp. z o.o.;
- Celtech Sp. z o.o.;
- Siltec Sp. z o.o.
Contrary to the common opinions, semi-trucks may be very important, especially when Poland would become the recipient of NATO support, acting as the host nation. The vehicles in question make it possible to carry out long distance transport operations with regards to tanks and other equipment on the road. The US Army explicitly expresses its need to use more vehicles as such to travel freely around the European theatre, even though some HET M1070F tank transporter tractor units have been leased from the UK.
The latter platforms feature extra two axles in comparison with the standard M1070 vehicle, which allows them to haul heavy cargo around Europe. However, the right-hand drive is a major disadvantage on the European mainland. One of vehicles as such crashed on the Polish state road no. 10 on 23rd February 2017.
NATO forces also face a problem related to insufficient number of tank transporter units. The area has been in disdain since the end of the Cold War. Thus, the capability in question remains critical from the point of view of the host nation who remains responsible for effective execution of the allied operations. There is one more question that remains unanswered: will the PESCO’s “Military Mobility” initiative involving Poland include cooperation within the scope of acquisition or operational use of semi-trucks?