The proposed changes are to provide the vehicle with an ability of supporting combat operations conducted by the Leopard-2A5 and Leopard-2PL main battle tanks. The modernized Bergepanzer 2 vehicle has been fitted with the CRS (Combat Recovery System) solution making it possible to work with vehicles weighing up to 60 tonnes.
The primary parts of the modernization package include increased power output of the engine (680 kW), extended crane arm with a higher lift capacity (up to 30 tonnes), improvement of ballistic and mine protection levels (correspondingly, level IV and III, according to STANAG 4569) and introduction of spall liners. Modernization also included addition of a winch with a constant pull force of 35 tonnes and cable length of 80 meters. Auxiliary winch features a cable with a length of 180 meters. The vehicle also features a universal front blade and a frame for carrying a Leopard 2 power-pack.
The modernized Bergepanzer platform received hydropneumatic suspension, EHS electronic hydro control system and redundant braking system as well. A/C system and tracks able to support higher overall weight have also become a part of the upgrade package. Each of the crewmembers has a 360-degree observation system at his disposal which makes the recovery operations easier.
Length of the vehicle showcased in Kielce is 8210 mm, it is 3250 mm wide and 2970 mm high. It offers a ground clearance of 440 mm. The modernized Bergepanzer’s dry weight is 44.5 tonnes. In combat setting it weighs 54 tonnes and is capable of attaining top speed of 62 kilometers per hour. The vehicle may go over water obstacles that are 120 centimeters deep without any preparation. If prepared, Bergepanzer may go through a water obstacle that is 2.25 m deep.
The Polish military is willing to modernize its Bergepanzer 2 ARVs acquired along with the Leopard 2 main battle tanks. Proper procurement procedure has already been initiated by the Armament Inspectorate. The procurement procedure that has been initiated back in 2017 involves a consortium led by PGZ S.A. that also includes WZM S.A. and ZM “BUMAR-ŁABĘDY” S.A. companies. The procedure assumes that 28 Bergepanzer 2 vehicles would be modernized - this refers to the complete inventory that remains at hand of the Polish military.
The vehicle presented in Kielce is offered by the consortium and is derived from the Wisent-1 vehicle offered and developed by the Consortium’s foreign partner: Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft (FFG). The platform in question was developed to meet the requirements of the Danish Army once the Danish military started to operate the Leopard 2A5 main battle tanks. The Danes are currently using the Bergepanzer 2 ARV, based on the Leopard 1 MBT.
The domestic modernization proposal also assumes that as many domestically made elements and systems are used, replicating the solutions used in Wisent.
The ARV’s purpose is to support main battle tank/armoured vehicle operations. Their task is to provide maintenance and repairs in field conditions or to recover vehicles that may be damaged. Owning a proper inventory of support vehicles is of key importance for survivability of armour on the battlefield.