The NBPWP qualification test programme has been launched yesterday, 4th July. This is yet another step on the design's way to being commissioned. Successful completion of this stage would pave the way toward a series manufacturing negotiations, and the conclusion of the delivery contract concerning the Borsuk IFV fleet for the Polish Armed Forces.
The NBPWP design is the planned replacement of the legacy BWP-1 platform. The Borsuk consists of the UMPG base platform (Universal Modular Tracked Platform) and remotely controlled ZSSW turret system. It is operated by a crew of 3: commander, driver, and gunner. The vehicle can transport 6 troops into the battle, providing them with a proper level of protection. Borsuk can also be used in a role of an infantry support asset.
The vehicle, using the onboard weapons, can neutralize enemy infantry, armour, airborne threats, or other assets used by the adversary, in any weather conditions, at night, and during the day. Borsuk IFV can also cooperate with main battle tanks. The vehicle is highly mobile, and can easily overcome rough terrain, including water obstacles (Borsuk also offers amphibious capabilities). It can be operated in a myriad of climates. 65 kph is its top speed when on a hardened surface, while 8 kph is the top speed in an amphibious setting. The base variant of the vehicle weighs 28 tonnes.
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 programme has been underway since 2014. Borsuk is to replace the obsolete BWP-1 vehicles that have been operated by the Polish Army uninterruptedly, since 1973, without any major updates implemented along the way. Four prototypes ordered by the Armed Forces in late April/early May are to be used in the qualification test programme. These vehicles have been procured based on an annex added to the R&D project agreement. This should also accelerate the progress of this test programme. It is also assumed that another IFV design would be procured alongside, to accelerate the process in which the capabilities are obtained. Most probably the above refers to the South Korean Redback IFV.