The release issued by WZM S.A. states that the agreement signed on 29th April covers repairs and modifications regarding 18 BWR-1D and BWR-1S vehicles. The works are scheduled to take place between 2021 and 2023. WZM would be acting as the primary contractor, while other PGZ companies - WZŁ Nr 2 or PCO - would be acting as suppliers of the components that would be used within the framework of the upgrade.
This agreement is the second one of the kind. The first one signed in May 2017 assumed that five vehicles would be modified in total. The deliveries were finalized in 2019. No details on the configuration of the upgraded vehicles have been disclosed. However, it could be assumed that the specs would be similar to the first lot of the upgraded BWR platforms. In practical terms, the above translates into the replacement of the basic mission equipment, used for reconnaissance.
The enhancements include installation of a Harris/Radmor external communication suite, ICT system with a digital intercom delivered by the WB Group, JIM LR multifunctional 360-degrees observation system, integrated ZIG-T-2R optronic suite, SR HAWK(V)2E radar offering a capability to pinpoint the location of shell explosions and new navigation systems: TALIN 5000 INS and DAGR-enabled GPS.
The vehicles have also been fitted with the PCO’s Obra protection system, Lubawa Berberys camouflage solution, CRBN contamination detection systems, and several other enhancements. They still retain amphibious capabilities.
BWR vehicles that have undergone modifications can be viewed as the most modern platform of its type in the Polish military. The programme is very relevant, as usually, the reconnaissance units, operate either the wheeled BRDM reconnaissance vehicles or the standard Rosomak APCs, as the Rosomak R1/R2 programme has not been finalized yet. The BWR upgrades are a rare example of the modernization of post-Soviet equipment. BWR vehicles are used by the Polish reconnaissance regiments and reconnaissance elements of the Army brigades.
Ultimately, BWRs are going to be replaced by the Żuk reconnaissance platform derived from the Borsuk IFV. Before that happens, the vehicles will still be mission capable, thanks to the mods introduced.