MSPO 2019: Tank Destroyers and BMP Modernization Projects from Poznan

September 7, 2019, 14:28
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Image Credit: Mateusz Zielonka/Defence24.pl

Over the course of this year’s MSPO event the WZM S.A. facility [Military Automotive Works] based in Poznan is presenting two products based on the BMP-1 platform. The first one is a tank destroyer prepared with the Ottokar-Brzoza programme in mind. The second envisages modernization of the post-soviet IFV platform itself.

BWP-1 (BMP-1) vehicles are operated in high numbers by the Polish military. They are, however, expected to be replaced by the new generation Borsuk platforms and, at least partially, by the Rosomak APCs fitted with the ZSSW-30 unmanned turrets. However, they would still be a part of the Polish Armed Forces’ inventory for years to come. Trying to create a concept aimed at utilizing the BMP-1’s potential to the fullest, the Poznan-based WZM facility created two potential upgrade concepts, on the occasion of the MSPO event. 

The former one pertains to use of the BMP-1 vehicle to create a tank destroyer. This constitutes a response to the Ottokar-Brzoza programme requirements. The procurement in question is at the stage of technical dialogue. Its goal is to introduce tank destroyers on tracked chassis that would replace the obsolete 9P133 Malyutka launchers. The new tank destroyer is expected to neutralize main battle tanks and heavy vehicles used by the enemy with the use of ATGM launchers. The capabilities available shall also be sufficient to neutralize vehicles featuring active soft-kill (jammers) and hard-kill (physically destroying the ATGMs) systems.

12-rail new generation ATGM launcher is to act as the main armament of the newly developed platform. The precision guided missiles are expected to use radar guidance and feature the fire-and-forget capacity. They are to have a range of up to 12 kilometers with typical engagement distance defined as 8 kilometers. 

BMP-1-based tank destroyer may also be fitted with conventional ATGM launchers and remote control armament module featuring the .50-cal. WKM-B machine gun and smoke grenade launchers integrated with the vehicle’s self-protection suite, such as the Obra solution.

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Image Credit: Mateusz Zielonka/Defence24.pl

The new tank destroyer would be fitted with a digital intercom along with BMS-accommodating ICT hardware assets. It is possible that Topaz system solutions would be used as a springboard here. The system would need to be tailored to management of the ATGMs, as the effectors have been fitted with radars used to find targets within the given area while the guidance process is done on the basis of targeting data provided from the onboard computer embedded within the launcher. 

The vehicle would also be fitted with optoelectronic observation systems that would be needed to detect targets in poor visibility conditions. Other elements of modernization include a combined GPS/INS navigation suite and quickly replaceable power-pack based on the MTU 6R 106 TD21 engine with a power output of 326 horsepower. Identical engine is already being installed on the Jelcz 442.32 trucks. The tank destroyer in question will also be fitted with new suspension tailored to the higher mass of the vehicle.

Armour is expected to be reinforced, up to the STANAG 4569 level 2 standard. Furthermore, BMP-1 would receive ergonomics and comfort refinements, as well as elements that would protect the crew, including new fire extinguishing and anti-explosion systems, heating/A/C system, new contamination detection instruments and anti-explosion seats made in Poland.

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Image Credit: Mateusz Zielonka/Defence24.pl

 The assumption made when it comes to the concept of creating a BMP-1-based tank destroyer is to utilize platforms that would become available once the military starts to introduce Rosomak APCs fitted with the ZSSW-30 turret and Borsuk IFVs. Following the relevant upgrades, a cost-effective base platform for tank destroyers may be obtained. The vehicles would be equipped with missiles with a range of several kilometers and the operational concept assumes no direct contact with the adversary. At the same time, the proposed missile system is to be of modular design which means that it should be easily transferable to another platform, such as the Borsuk IFV.  

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Image Credit: Mateusz Zielonka/Defence24.pl

 WZM is also showcasing a modernization proposal for the BMP-1 IFV itself. The concept assumes that combat potential of the vehicle is heightened. Vehicle in a variant as such would act as a gap-filler that would expand the capabilities available to the mechanized units before they receive the brand new IFV platform.

The modernized BMP-1 could be fitted with the Kongsberg Protector RWS LW-30 unmanned turret module fitted with a 30 mm Bushmaster M230LF cannon coupled with 7.62 mm UKM-2000C machine gun and smoke grenade launchers integrated with the Obra system. There is also an option to fit the vehicle with ATGM launcher as well. The hull would also undergo modernization, with the protection level compliant with STANAG 4569 level 3.

Similarly as the tank destroyer, the modernized BMP would be fitted with a power-pack using the 6R 106 TD21 engine and reinforced suspension. The modernization also covers installation of new communication systems, replacement of the electrical hardware, introduction of a 360 degrees observation solution, new explosion-mitigation and fire-extinguishing systems, as well as A/C and heating systems integrated with the ventilation/filtering system and new contamination-detection sensors.

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