Polish Armament Group presented a new ‘Scipio’ military vehicle design last week. The new vehicle is based on the Rosomak wheeled APC. The presentation took place within the Slovak Zahorie training ground, due to the fact that “Scipio” has been developed for the armed forces of Slovakia, who are willing to replace their old OT-64 SKOT armoured personnel carriers.
The new infantry fighting vehicle constitutes a result of cooperation between the Polish and Slovak defence industries. Rosomak wheeled APC 8 x 8 is acting as the base platform for the new vehicle. Scipio features the Slovak unmanned Turra 30 turret, manufactured by the EVPU company. The new turret design was to be originally utilized in case of the BMP-1/BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles. The turret features a 30 mm cannon and an ATGW launcher. The vehicle made its first public appearance at the end of may this year, during the IDEB 2015 expo in Brno.
The field demonstration was to present the capabilities of the new vehicle. It included a demonstration of the terrain mobility and combat capabilities. During the demonstration, accurate shots from the 30 mm cannon and the 7.62 mm machine gun were fired. The live-fire demonstration concerned moving, as well as some stationary targets that were 2000 meters away.
According to the Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa’s (Polish Armament Group) President of the Board, Wojciech Dąbrowski, Rosomak APC stands a chance of becoming the key product that is being offered by the company. When Dąbrowski made his statement during the European Economic Congress in Katowice, back in April this year, he said: “We are not capable of – if we conduct our business within scale which is so big – existing solely thanks to the domestic customer and the agreements that are concluded with the Polish Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Internal Affairs or other services. Thus, it is natural for us to look for some customers within the foreign markets.” According to the statement made by Dąbrowski, Rosomak which is license manufactured in Poland, features ca. 200 Polish enhancements, in comparison with the original Finnish vehicle. “Our innovations have transformed that vehicle, and made it become one of the best vehicles in its class, among those available within the global market.”
At the moment we do not know how many vehicles are going to be acquired by the Slovaks. The negotiations between the Polish and Slovak Ministers of Defence, Tomasz Siemoniak and Martin Glváč, are yet to begin. It is assessed that the initial acquisition order is going to include 30 examples of the modified Rosomak vehicles. Should the agreement be signed, Slovakia would probably order more vehicles in the future. In opinion of the Slovak Minister, the Army of Slovakia cannot afford to acquire the carriers from more than a single source. The target number to be acquired is going to reach 100 APCs. Agreement conclusion is also closely tied to the Polish offset offer. Should that offer be unsatisfactory for the Slovaks, the new APC is going to be procured via a traditional tender procedure.
The “Scipio” APC was created within the scope of an initiative pursued by the Polish Ministry of Defence. Its aim is to increase security and military-industrial cooperation with the remaining states in the region – Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania and Bulgaria. Thanks to that very initiative, it was possible to sell the Grom MANPADS for the Lithuanians.