Poland to modernize its fleet of T-72 main battle tanks MBTs
On July 22, 2019, the Ministry of Defense of Poland has signed a contract with the Polish Company Bumar-Łabędy Mechanical Plants to modernize T-72 main battle tanks of Polish Army. The amount of the concluded contract is €400 million. The tanks will be renovated between the years 2019–2025.
Polish Army T-72M1 main battle tank at MSPO defense exhibition in Poland, September 2017. (Picture source Army Recognition)
Currently, the Polish army uses different types of main battle tanks (MBTs) including 247 German-made Leopard 2A4s / 2A5s, 218 PT-91s and 188 T-72 M1/M1Ds (Polish designation for T-72M1K, commander version of the T-72M1). The PT-91 MBT, which is also referred to as the Twardy (Hard), is a further development by Zaklady Mechaniczne Bumar-Labedy SA of the Russian-made T-72M1, which was produced under license in Poland for many years.
According to a modernization plan, a total of 128 Leopard 2A4s will be upgraded to the Leopard 2PL configuration by 2020. The Leopard 2PL upgrade is broadly similar to the Rheinmetall Revolution MBT. It has got improved armor protection, improved gun, improved sights and some other systems
The T-72M1 is the export version of the Soviet-made T-72A MBT. The T-72 was produced under license in Poland since 1983
During the latest edition of MSPO, a defense exhibition in Poland, the Polish companies PGZ Group and ZM Bumar Łabędy S.A. have presented different projects of modernization for the T-72M1 in service with the Polish Army including the PT-16 and PT-17.
The PT-16 also called PT-2016 is a Polish modernization of the Polish-made PT-91 Twardy Main Battle Tank used by the Polish army which is a further development by the Zaklady Mechaniczne Bumar-Labedy SA of the Russian-made T-72M1, produced under license in Poland.
At MSPO, the International Defence Industry Exhibition in Poland, in September 2017, the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ) presents a new upgrade of the Polish-made PT-91/T-72 main battle tank (MBT) under the name of PT-17. This new upgrade is an evolution of the project of the PT-16 which was unveiled at the edition 2016 of MSPO. The tank has been modernized to offer more mobility, firepower, and protection.