Armed Forces

Poznan ARV for Leopard Unveiled. „57% - polonized”

  • Fot. Wikipedia/Przykuta
    Fot. Wikipedia/Przykuta

Poznan-based Wojskowe Zakłady Motoryzacyjne facility (Eng. Military Automotive Works) presented the modernized Bergepanzer 2 armoured recovery vehicle, in front of the representatives of the Parliamentary and Senate National Defence Committees. The said platform has been designed to provide support for the Leopard 2A4/2A5/2PL main battle tanks. The vehicle is going to undergo the “polonization” process to the extent of 57%.

The modernized platform has been fitted, among other equipment, with a new, longer crane, with load capacity of 30 tonnes, and main winch, capable of pulling up to 35 tonnes. Moreover, the ARV is also capable of recovering the combat vehicles, with the recovery vehicle’s crew not having to leave the interior of the recovery platform, which enhances safety of operation, thanks to the CRS (Combat Recovery System) fitted onboard. The armoured recovery vehicle in question also has a 360-degree observation system at its disposal, provided by the PCO S.A company, which makes the recovery process easier. FFG-Flensburg company acts as the foreign partner, within the modernization process.

The technical equipment would be manufactured in Poland - not in Poznan, but in Stalowa Wola. Huta Stalowa Wola will become our strategic partner, when it comes to the recovery equipment. This will happen for a very simple reason - it is a facility which is suited for manufacturing and maintaining [pertaining to the vehicles], it is certified within that scope. When it comes to the Bergepanzer 2 chassis, here the potential offered by WZM S.A. may be used, I am referring to the potential created with the Leopard 2A4/2A5 main battle tanks in mind. Wojskowe Zakłady Łączności No. 2 [Military Communication Works No. 2] based in Czernica would become our partner when it comes to the communication equipment, while support within the scope of all rubber products and repairs of the wheels would be provided by Stomil-Poznan.

President of the WZM S.A. company, Elżbieta Wawrzynkiewicz

WZM S.A.’s president, Elżbieta Wawrzynkiewicz, emphasized the fact that modernization offer referring to the ARVs based on the Leopard 1 tank assumes that a high degree of involvement would be expected on the part of the domestic entities, including the companies gathered within the Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa umbrella company (Polish Armament Group). HSW S.A., for instance, is to be responsible for delivering some of the crucial equipment such as the cranes, while WZŁ No. 2 company from Czernica would be tasked with providing the partners with the relevant communications equipment. The vehicle is going to undergo the “polonization” process to the extent of 57%.

The platform, besides the elements listed above, also features a universal front blade with an option of being extended, auxiliary 1,500 kg winch, modern EHS hydraulic system and enhanced power-pack, providing a power output of 960HP +5%. The interior protection level has also been raised by installation of additional armour plates and reinforcement of the bottom part of the hull. The crew is seated in seats that reduce the effects that are a consequence of explosion of mines and IEDs.

WZM S.A. facility is also willing to offer installation of a new system of handmade slat armour, protecting the vehicle from the anti-tank grenade launchers. The said RPG armour package has been developed by the British AMSAFE company. It is expected that should a decision be made to acquire this system for the Polish Army, it would be manufactured domestically, in Poznan. The system may also be applied on other vehicles. Installation of the said solution on the modernized Bergepanzer 2 takes around 20 minutes, and the set up work may be completed also by the crew, in field conditions.

Image Credit: R. Surdacki/

The vehicle is also going to be prepared to act as a host platform for the Battlefield Management System. WZM S.A. facility additionally proposes that the radio which is currently used in case of the platform is replaced by a modern solution, indicated by the Ordering Party. Should the relevant contractual agreements be signed, the initial vehicles may be delivered within 7 to 8 months, from the moment when the agreement is signed.

Modernized Bergepanzer 2 platform, thanks to its modular structure, may also be used as a military engineering vehicle, meeting the requirements of the engineering units. In such case, the front blade may be replaced with a mine flail, while the crane may be replaced with a universal grab or an excavator bucket.

Image Credit: R. Surdacki/

The WZT platform will also be using new tracks, twin-circuit braking system, A/C system and a fire protection system for the crew. In total, the modernization package assumes that the target vehicle is going to feature around 40% of modernized components, moreover it is assumed that key components, assemblies and elements are also going to be manufactured domestically.

From the left: Chairman of the Senate’s National Defence Committee - Jarosław Rusiecki, Chairman of the Parliamentary National Defence Committee - Michał Jach, President of the WZM S.A. company, Elżbieta Wawrzynkiewicz. Image Credit: R. Surdacki/

Besides the presentation of the ARV in front of the members of the Parliament, general potential and capabilities offered by the Wojskowe Zakłady Motoryzacyjne S.A. have been demonstrated. The head of the Parliamentary National Defence Committee, MP Michał Jach (PiS – Polish Law and Order Party), noted that prospectively, more orders are going to be received by WZM S.A., in the light of the fact that the facility is in possession of the required potential, and in the light of the visible trend, of a “return” of the armoured units, within the structures of the European armies.

It is clearly visible that the overhauling and engine servicing capacity is being expanded. Some halls are still undeveloped. I think that in a perspective of a few years, new jobs could be found here, for many new employees, because a general, a global trend is visible, which would require even greater reinforcement in Poland, namely seen in return of the armoured units in the armies.

Michał Jach, Chairman of the Parliamentary National Defence Committee

The MP also noted the importance of the works undertaken in order to overhaul and modernize the existing inventory of the Polish Army. Jach also stressed the fact that not only should effort be directed towards maintaining the operational capabilities through overhauls, but also, steps should be taken to raise the value of that equipment, thanks to implementation and execution of the modernization works.

The [Ministry's of Defence] technological modernization plan undergoes an update process. But also, the Support Inspectorate is working on updating the whole modernization cycle pertaining to the equipment which is being operated by the Armed Forces now, and which does not necessarily has to be scrapped. The only thing that needs to be done is to think about the way of extending the lifetime of this equipment - not only by extending the lifetime per se, but also by implementing relevant modernization. Even now, on the base of the BMP, one could fit a new turret onto that vehicle, with a modern guidance system for the missiles or for the artillery (...) and the said equipment automatically gains a totally new quality.

Michał Jach, Chairman of the Parliamentary National Defence Committee

According to the assumptions made by the Polish Ministry of Defence, modernization of the Bergepanzer 2 ARV platform is to provide these vehicles with a capacity of recovering vehicles, the weight of which could be as high as 65 tonnes. It is also required that a crane, with capacity of lifting up to 30 tonnes, and ability to transport a Leopard 2 tank power pack by the recovery vehicle are both available in case of the new ARV. The vehicle is also expected to allow the crew to hook up and detach the towed platforms, without creating a need for the crew to leave the ARV. Moreover, it is expected that interior protection would be enhanced.

Marek Dąbrowski, Jakub Palowski