Responding to the questions asked by us, Monika Koniecko, Deputy Chief of the Commercial Bureau for Marketing and PR at HSW, announced that HSW is currently engaged in a discussion with “Northrop Grumman, within the scope of commercial acquisition of technologies used for commercial manufacturing of the Bushmaster Mk44S gun.” HSW is also working towards establishing a maintenance center for such guns at HSW.
The talks in question are related to the preparatory process, associated with the launch of series manufacturing of the ZSSW-30 turrets. Mk 44S Bushmaster II gun (the so-called stretch variant) is the primary weapon of the ZSSW-30 turret, alongside the Spike-LR ATGM launcher and the 7.62 mm machine gun. The gun is capable of using airburst munitions. Furthermore, it may be rapidly converted to shoot the 40 mm ammunition. The older variant of Bushmaster II is currently used as the weapon on the Polish Rosomak APCs with the legacy Hitfist-30P turrets.
HSW has been working with the manufacturer of the Mk 44S gun for some time now, within the framework of the ZSSW project. Back in 2014, an agreement was concluded by and between HSW and ATK, concerning the delivery of 30 mm cannons for the ZSSW-30 turrets, and also covering the integration-related technical support, for the ZSSW prototypes. The agreement in question is currently being implemented as a part of the ZSSW development effort. It also includes an option for procurement of extra guns for the series manufacturing.
HSW can procure the Bushmasters then, and once the negotiation is finalized, it could also manufacture them. Establishing maintenance and manufacturing capacity concerning the Bushmaster gun is also envisaged within the offset agreement signed with the Raytheon company (with Northrop Grumman’s commitments included), within the framework of the Wisła programme. Still, no offset execution agreements have been concluded with Raytheon so far. Finalization of the business negotiation process happening between HSW and Northrop Grumman will make it possible to establish Bushmaster II weapons system production-technology competencies even before the Wisła Phase I offset execution agreements are signed.
The matter tied to manufacturing of the Bushmaster II and the Wisła project offset has been brought up in a parliamentary question recently submitted by the Civic Coalition (Koalicja Obywatelska) MPs. The group included Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska, Paweł Poncyljusz, Tomasz Siemoniak, Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, and Marta Wcisło. The MPs were bringing up the matter related to the manufacturing of the cannon, envisaged within the Wisła program offset commitments. Wojciech Skurkiewicz, Deputy Minister of Defence, responding to that question, noted that the agreement did not include optional manufacturing of the Bushmaster gun, hence the inclusion of this matter among the offset arrangements. Many signs suggest that this know-how could be obtained quicker, via a commercial agreement - this is what the HSW S.A. is trying to achieve currently.