Works have been started, aim of which is to create an unmanned turret for the Polish Rosomak APCs. The new turret is to be equipped with a Spike anti-tank missile launcher. Polish Armed Forces want to equip the currently used Hitfist-30 turrets with the Spike missiles as well. Modernized vehicles are to maintain their amphibious capabilities.
MoD spokesman, Col. Jacek Sońta informed Defence24.pl that the development works regarding an unmanned turret system equipped with Spike anti-tank missile launchers for the Rosomak wheeled APCs have been started. Currently a prototype is being built. The first deliveries for the units of motorized infantry are expected to happen in the second half of 2016, at the earliest, after the turrets successfully pass the qualification tests.
The new armament module is being constructed on the basis of the R&D works agreement which has been signed with the contractor – the consortium consisting of HSW [Stalowa Wola Ironworks] and WB Electronics companies. The agreement has been signed by the Armament Inspectorate on 29th March 2013, along with a specimen memorandum, which defines the conditions of granting and implementing the executive orders.
MoD is also willing to equip the older Rosomaks, which are fitted with the Hitfist-30 turrets, with the Spike anti-tank missile launchers. According to Sońta, Polish Armed Forces are currently in the process of analysing the ways and scope of modification which is to be implemented for the Hitfist turrets, also in connection with the planned modernization of the Rosomak vehicles. MoD spokesperson also stated that the research is related inter alia, to the „technical possibilities of implementing the modernization, due to the requirements of maintaining the Rosomak’s amphibious capabilities”.
Col. Sońta stressed the fact that the deadline related to the deliveries of the Rosomak APCs equipped with the anti-tank missiles will largely depend on the positive results of the tests related to the amphibious capabilities. He also stated that, in accordance with the Technical Modernization Plan in force, no further supplies of portable Spike missile launchers are planned. He also stated that no plans of equipping the Rosomak APCs with “another type anti-tank guided missiles, which is not in use at the present moment” exist.
Introducing APCs which are equipped with the Spike missile launchers into use within the mechanized elements is a significant reinforcement of the anti-tank defence capabilities of the Army. As we know, before the Rosomak APCs were selected by the Polish Armed Forces, the option of integrating them with the Spike missiles was one of the first issues that had been considered. In the current situation, particularly within the context of the changed security situation related to the Ukrainian crisis, Polish Ministry of Defence should take serious steps in order to introduce Rosomak APCs armed with the anti-tank missiles as quickly as possible. This would greatly expand the defensive capabilities of the motorized elements.
It also seems that both implementation of the new turrets, as well as modernization of the ones currently used are required. All that would make it possible to augment the defensive capabilities of units which are currently using the Rosomak. What is more, units which are to receive the carriers in the future would also gain significant benefits from using the modernized variant of the vehicle.