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Industry

WZM Poznań to Modify the Polish BWR Platform

Upgraded BWR-1S
Photo. Marta Rachwalska/Defence24

In early February, the 1st Regional Logistics Base in Wałcz announced that another contract would be signed on overhauls and modification of the BWR-1D/S Reconnaissance Fighting Vehicles, with the WZM S.A. facility based in Poznań. The work would probably concern 15 vehicles.

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The agreement has a value of PLN 358.6 million, and it will remain valid between 2024 and 2026. At the moment the Polish Armed Forces operate 38 BWR-1D/S reconnaissance vehicles, 23 of which have been overhauled and upgraded already. This includes 22 D version vehicles, and 16 coming in the S variant. The agreement was signed within the framework of a negotiation, without any public procurement announcement. This is dictated by the fact that the WZM S.A. facility in Poznan is the owner of documentation on the aforesaid type of work. The above means, WZM S.A. is responsible for overhauling and modifying all of the Polish BWR-1 vehicles.

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As a result of the modification of the BWR-1s, almost every element of the specialist reconnaissance mission equipment has been replaced. The enhancements include the installation of a Harris/Radmor external communication suite, ICT system with a digital intercom delivered by the WB Group, JIM LR multifunctional 360-degree 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.

Furthermore, the modified vehicles now also feature an AP4C automatic chemical contamination detector, MIMID miniaturized mine detector, or portable DPO Geiger counter. The survivability and functionality of the vehicle have been enhanced by installing the SSP-1N Obra-3 self-protection suite delivered by PCO, along with Berberys type 3 multispectral camouflage supplied by Lubawa. Further enhancements include a new 2 kW auxiliary power unit powered by the vehicle’s fuel tanks, along with a parking heater, enlarged tanks in the rear doors, passive observation/targeting systems, ergonomic seats for the vehicle crew, and rubberized tracks. Installation of brand new UTD-20 diesel engines has been another change making it possible to continue the operational use of those vehicles. They have also been fitted with additional floater elements that made it possible to retain the amphibious capacity despite the weight increase.

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Polish BWR-1S/D vehicles have not undergone any major upgrades since the acquisition in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The work carried out with regard to the first examples made it possible to gradually increase the capabilities within the scope of reconnaissance. This is proof that modification (not modernization conducted in line with the regulations associated with the introduction of a new type of armament) does not exclude the introduction of relevant changes enhancing the combat potential offered by the given platform. BWR vehicles that have undergone modifications can be viewed as the most modern platform of its type in the Polish military. Ultimately the vehicles in question would be replaced by the new Żuk reconnaissance platform that is to be based on the Borsuk IFV. As the new IFV test programme is running late, the timeline is being continually extended.

Upgraded BWR-1D
Photo. Jarosław Ciślak/Defence24.pl
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