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Industry

Poland Announces an Order for 1000 Borsuk IFV - and a New, Heavy Vehicle

Borsuk, hsw, Błaszczak, bwp
Photo. Jerzy Reszczyński/Defence24.pl

The Armament Agency has signed a framework agreement with HSW S.A. on the delivery of Borsuk IFVs. The above refers to 1,400 vehicles. This is the biggest undertaking of the Polish defence industry, and it also includes platforms expected to be used to create specialist variants of the vehicle. Also, the Poland MoD announced the planned procurement of new, heavy IFV based on K9 chassis and ZSSW turret, the latter being also used at Rosomak APC and Borsuk.

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On Tuesday noon a framework agreement has been signed by and between the Armament Agency, and a consortium formed by PGZ and HSW, on delivery of almost 1,000 Borsuk IFVs, and specialist vehicles based on a universal, modular, tracked platform. The signing of the agreement happened in the presence of the Head of the Polish Ministry of Defence. The specialist vehicles range includes Żuk tracked reconnaissance carriers, Oset tracked reconnaissance vehicles, Gotem MEDEVAC platforms, Gekon ARVs, and Ares contamination reconnaissance platforms.

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The estimated value of the procurement based on the aforesaid agreement is several dozens billion zlotys (approx. USD 10 billion), while the first deliveries for specific vehicle types are planned to happen between 2024 and 2025.

"The first four examples will be tested by the Polish Armed Forces this year. I do hope that the Polish Armed Forces would soon receive new fighting vehicles", Minister stated via his Twitter account.

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"We're keeping our word. Mariusz Błaszczak will announce a procurement of more than 1,000 Borsuk IFVs at HSW today", Prime Minister stated via his social media channels. "We guarantee security for the Poles" - he added.

Huta Stalowa Wola S.A. (HSW) is one of the biggest and most important of the Polish defence industry facilities. HSW is a part of the PGZ Group.

Borsuk IFV is a modern tracked vehicle designed for mechanized infantry elements. The crew consists of a commander, a gunner, and a driver. The vehicle is an amphibious platform, and this feature distinguishes it from its other counterparts. Borsuk offers the crew and the troops inside protection from small arms fire, anti-tank grenade launchers, and IED/mines.

The vehicle can travel at a top speed of 65 kph on hardened surfaces, and it can attain speeds of up to 8 kph in an amphibious setting. Borsuk weighs 28 tonnes in its base variant. It is equipped with a ZSSW-30 turret, armed with Bushmaster Mk 44/S gun (capable of using ABM ammunition), Spike-LR ATGM launcher and UKM-2000C 7.62 coaxial machine gun. The turret features an advanced Fire Control System developed by the Polish industry, including WB Group, with an autotracker and hunter-killer/killer-killer feature, while the electrooptic systems were delivered by PCO, a PGZ company.

The Borsuk design has been created by a consortium led by HSW S.A., and involving the entities as follows: Ośrodek Badawczo-Rozwojowy Devices Mechanicznych OBRUM Sp.z o.o., Wojskowe Zakłady Motoryzacyjne S.A. (Military Automotive Works), ROSOMAK S.A., Military Electronic Works S.A., War Studies University, Military University of Technology, Wojskowy Instytut Techniki Pancernej i Samochodowej (Military Military Institute of Armoured and Automotive Technology) and Warsaw University of Technology.

The head of the Polish Ministry of Defence has also made a quite important and surprising statement, regarding the Borsuk IFV family:

"I want to share another piece of good news with you. The Technical Modernization Council has approved a project that would also be handed off to HSW, aimed at preparing and preparing the production of an IFV which would be heavier than Borsuk. That IFV would be made out of two base elements: the HSW Krab base platform, and the ZSSW-30 turret - expected to be installed on Borsuk, but also on the heavier version. That heavier variant will be the primary equipment for the 18th Mechanized Division, and it would be working with the Abrams main battle tanks that would, this year, be commissioned in the 1st Armoured Brigade of the 18th Mechanized Division."

That piece of information may be a surprise for some, but those following these matters closely should not be daunted. A concept that used to be loosely discussed in the past would be used here. The basic advantage is the fact that that concept makes it possible to rapidly create a heavy IFV, without the necessity to go through the time-consuming research, required to develop the current Borsuk for it to evolve to a heavier, well-armored version. HSW had been making statements on that in the past. And this scenario is plausible, but it demands resolving numerous, complex technicalities, primarily tied to ballistic and IED/mine protection levels. The K9/K9PL platform used for Krab is well known at HSW, technology-wise. The terms of licensing allow HSW to implement in-depth design changes and modifications, and also changes tailoring the new platform to act in a role of an IFV.

In a situation where the decision made on 27th February has just been unveiled, no one is going to make any deadline declarations on the demonstration of the heavy K9PL/Borsuk platform. We remain ready to engage in a technical dialogue on that matter, Jan Szwedo, President of the HSW company declared.

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