Heavy IFV Alongside the Borsuk Platform?
The Polish Armed Forces and the Polish defence industry are facing a challenge aimed at launching a series manufacturing and commissioning the new Borsuk amphibious IFV in large numbers. Furthermore, the Polish MoD assumes that a new, heavier IFV would be introduced, to act as a complementary platform, alongside the Borsuk platform.
The requirements related to the acquisition of a heavy IFV match the operational concept involving two complementary platforms of the same class - IFVs in this case.
The aforesaid concept assumes that the Polish Armed Forces would operate two types of main battle tanks (K2PL main battle tanks, viewed as medium ones, and M1A2SEPv3 and M1A1FEP Abrams, viewed as heavy platforms).
Hence, the intent is to place the lighter, Borsuk infantry fighting vehicles alongside the K2PL, while the Abrams would be accompanied by a newer, heavier IFV platform.
IFV as such would be created through the use of chassis utilized for the Krab and K9 howitzer. The above refers to the power pack, suspension, support wheels, drive wheels, tensioning wheels, and continuous track, all integrated within a brand-new hull designed from scratch.
As Lt. Col. Krzysztof Płatek told the Polish Press Agency: "Contrary to Borsuk, the requirement for amphibious capability would be dismissed, meanwhile the larger hull will allow for the installation of better armour and more onboard equipment, and also for carrying a higher number of troops - for Borsuk we are speaking of 6 soldiers". The spokesman for the Armament Agency added that it has been planned to equip the new vehicle with a higher caliber gun (40 mm). Apart from that, the new platform would also feature an ATGM launcher.
A vehicle as such - being a larger, and heavier IFV than Borsuk would offer significantly higher levels of ballistic protection, and will also be able to carry 8 or 9 troops inside.
The armament would be placed in the ZSSW-30 turret, identical to the one used on Borsuk and Rosomak platforms. The ZSSW-30 is armed with a 30 mm Mk44S automatic cannon, a coaxial 7.62 mm UKM-2000C machine gun, and a Spike LR1/LR2 ATGM launcher.
Whereas for the heavier IFV, more installed firepower may be available, by replacing the 30 mm Mk44S gun with a 40 mm counterpart. The turret design allows for this, it's enough to replace the barrel and some smaller components.
As announced, the heavy IFV demonstrator may be created this year, and it could be potentially showcased during the MSPO event held annually in Kielce.
Furthermore, not only could the heavy infantry fighting vehicle become a part of the inventory of the 18th Mechanized Division, but it could also be introduced by the newly formed 1st Infantry Division. Whereas, even though the 18th Mechanized Division would only operate the M1 Abrams MBTs and the new heavy IFV, the 1st "Legions" Infantry Division would operate both the K2PL MBTs and the Borsuk IFVs, as well as the new, heavy IFVs.