Jelcz to Deliver MBT Transporters for Leopard and Abrams MBTs in September

Image: Rafał Mniedło/11LDKPanc.
Image: Rafał Mniedło/11LDKPanc.

The first 14 MBT transporters (with optional procurement of another 9, including 3 tractor units without the trailers), with payload capacity exceeding 63 tonnes, codenamed “Jak”, shall be delivered and commissioned in the Polish Army in late September this year. The vehicles are to be delivered by Jelcz Sp. z o.o.

We have sent an inquiry to the Armament Inspectorate, regarding the programme tied to tank transporters, codenamed “Jak” (Wild yak), asking about the deliveries that happened so far (if they did), timeline for the deliveries (if deliveries have not begun yet), or potential annexations of the agreement.

Krzysztof Płatek, Armament Inspectorate spokesman, responded as follows:

As a consequence of disturbance, having an impact on the completion of the agreement, stemming from the domestic and global SARS-COV-2 pandemic restrictions, a relevant annexation procedure has been carried out, resulting in the postponement of the military equipment delivery deadline to the last week of September 2021.

Spokesman for the Armament Inspectorate, mjr Krzysztof Płatek

The above would mean that the first deliveries should happen in 2.5 months, in late September. According to the original assumptions that had been made prior to the pandemic, the deliveries were to take place between 2020 and 2022. The Armament Inspectorate indicated that obstructions and restrictions tied to the COVID-19 pandemic had a relevant impact on the postponement of the deadline.

The transporters will make it possible to move MBTs at longer distances - also in crisis circumstances - for instance, between the homebase and the field training facility, without any excessive wear of the tracked vehicles caused by the ferry ride.

Let us recall: The order concerns delivery of 14 heavy tractor units and mating semi-trailers that could be used to transport tracked vehicles and MBTs, with a payload capacity of more than 63 tonnes. Its price tag has been defined as PLN 72 million. Extra 54 million zlotys have been allocated to the “right of option”: procurement of 9 transporters and 3 extra tractors.

These are to be supplied by Jelcz. The protection level for the cabin would comply with STANAG 4569 Level 2A. The trucks would feature numerous communication systems, along with winches allowing the crews to load MBTs weighing up to 70-tonnes onto the lowboy trailers.

The above feature may mean that the “Jak” vehicles would be able to transport MBTs such as Leopard 2A5/A6/A7, and 2PL, Challenger 2, or even M1A2 Abrams. The acquisition of new tank transporters seems to have a high degree of relevance, considering the latest decision made by the Polish Ministry of Defence - procurement of the M1A2 SEPv3 MBTs.