WZM Poznań: Support for Armoured Vehicle Power-packs

14 września 2021, 09:43
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Borsuk IFV power-pack model, showcased in Kielce. Image Credit: Mateusz Zielonka/Defence24.pl

WZM S.A. company from Poznan is showcasing a power-pack model for the Borsuk IFV, along with an overhauled power-pack installed on Leopard 2A5 MBT, along with key components refurbished. Manufacturing and rendering support services for modern fighting vehicle power-packs is one of the WZM’s areas of specialty.

Wojskowe Zakłady Motoryzacyjne S.A. [Military Automotive Works] is a company that for years now has been known for its know-how, within the scope of maintaining and developing upgrade proposals for Leopard 2 MBTs or BWP-1 IFVs. Capacity tied to the Power-packs Center (Centrum Zespołów Napędowych), and maintenance services concerning engines with power outputs of up to 1,500 HP is the main area of specialty, along with design and manufacturing of modern power-packs, that can be quickly replaced. 

CZN and the R&D bureau have developed the power-pack for the NPBWP Borsuk platform. It is presented at MSPO 2021 in a form of a 3D model. In recent years the facility has also designed a power-pack for new generation wheeled APC. The module integrates the MTU 8V 199 TE 20 engine, Allison 4800SP gearbox, and power supply components for the vehicle.

The power-pack unveiled this year, designed for the Borsuk IFV, weighs around 3,200 kilograms (fluids included), with dimensions of 2,436x1,949x1,421 mm, meeting the EURO 3 norm requirements. The solution uses the 720 HP MTU 8V199 TE20 engine with maximum torque of 2,700 Nm. It is integrated with the Allison / Caterpillar X300 automatic transmission (four forward gears, two reverse gears, hydraulic turning mechanism). The power-pack also includes the cooling system, hydraulic system pumps, power supply for thrusters and fans, 320A alternator, intake air filtering system, along with an inertial separator.

Once the Borsuk IFV deliveries begin, the power-pack’s components, including the main parts (engines, gearboxes), will be serviced at WZM S.A. The company currently remains in possession of fighting/support vehicles engine-related know-how, along with a modern engine test bench for servicing. Currently, WZM is servicing the MTU MB873 Ka-501 engines and RENK HSWL 354 gearboxes of the Leopard 2 MBTs. Support and maintenance - including repairs covered by guarantee and general servicing - are provided for other MTU engines (6R106), used on the Jelcz 442.32 trucks. A 24/7 mobile assistance service is also available.

WZM S.A. is driven to expand its expertise and know-how tied to manufacturing and support for power-packs destined for fighting vehicles - relevant investments are being made in that domain. The engine test bench is a prime example here. It has been upgraded, and since 2015 it is capable of assessing the technical status of a variety of engines, with a power output of up to 1,200 kW and torque of up to 7,500 Nm, capable of achieving up to 5,500 RPM.

Automation of the test bench and adoption of the test equipment to accommodate the modern MTU engines were the primary upgrade assumptions. The test bench facility includes a room for engine preparation (that can accommodate up to 8 engines at once), test bench, control station, and conditioning systems.

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Leopard 2A5 was modified by the Poznan-based WZM facility, with refurbished components. Image Credit: Kacper Bakuła/Defence24.pl

Refurbishment for Leopards

The WZM S.A.’s activities within the domain of Leopard 2 power-packs steps beyond maintenance and overhauls. The experience allowed WZM to develop its proprietary refurbishment process for the Leopard 2A5 suspension.

This makes it possible to continue the use of suspension arms that, when verified, were qualified for replacement. Another undertaking showcased in Kielce is a refurbishment process developed for the road wheels of the MBT. This allows the user to recover wheels that had been considered to be unusable. The process involves removal of the wheels, assessment, and verification (whether they can be refurbished), removal of the rubber elements, refurbishment of surfaces, machining, and placement of a new rubber cover onto the wheel.

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Leopard 2A5 modified by the Poznan-based WZM facility, with refurbished components. Image Credit: Kacper Bakuła/Defence24.pl

Meanwhile, the license granted by MTU and WZM’s insight in the selection of tools and establishment of overhaul stations allows the facility to refurbish the injection pumps of the MB873 Ka-501 engine. Not only does this translate into savings, but it is yet another step taken to push forward the process of polonizing the Leopard 2A5 MBT.

Tools Manufacturing

Years of gathering the relevant experience resulted in the establishment of potential for developing own tools and special equipment, as well as other hardware required to maintain and provide repair services for a broad variety of fighting vehicles. WZM has launched the production of several hundred types of special-purpose tools and instruments, that are all being used when carrying out maintenance and repairs. They are designed, manufactured, and delivered to external entities, according to their individual needs, and with the use of their solutions developed by the Poznan-based company.

These experiences make it possible to become independent from external suppliers and to make the maintenance and repair processes far more efficient. The individual approach the company exhibits when tackling the emerging tasks makes it possible to consistently increase the number of assets maintained and repaired simultaneously.

WZM S.A. in Poznan is gradually establishing the know-how required to design, manufacture, and support the operational use of power-packs in heavily armoured vehicles. The Power-packs Center in Poznan, and the solutions that it develops, may play an increasingly more relevant role in the future, when it comes to the process of commissioning and providing support for modern fighting vehicles operated by the Polish Military, regardless of the circumstances emerging in the security landscape around Poland.

Article prepared in collaboration with WZM S.A.

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