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Poland to get BMP-1 based tank destroyers.

| 2019

Poland’s army will receive a new tank destroyer on the chassis of the BWP-1 infantry fighting vehicle (a licensed copy of the Soviet BMP-1 land platform), according to the press department of European missile-manufacturing corporation MBDA.

Poland to get BMP 1 based tank destroyers
Tank destroyer based on the chassis of the BWP-1 infantry fighting vehicle (Picture source: Army Recognition)

At the MSPO 2019 international defense show held in Kielce (Poland) on September 3-6, MBDA and Polish defence industrial conglomerate PGZ (Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa) signed a joint statement of cooperation on the Polish tank destroyer program. "PGZ Companies and MBDA signed a statement of co-operation to confirm readiness to co-operate on offering this solution to Poland and export markets, recognizing the combination of MBDA’s Brimstone missile with PGZ’s armoured vehicle expertise offers the best solution for Poland’s Tank Destroyer requirement from a military capability, sovereignty and industrial perspective," said the press department of MBDA.

According to the company, the enterprises will develop a tank destroyer that will be capable of countering large tank formations in line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight modes. The new land platform will be armed with the Brimstone guided missiles developed by MBDA. "With its long-range, all-weather performance, ability to defeat active protection systems, salvo-firing and moving target capability, Brimstone is uniquely able to meet this challenge," said a spokesperson for the concern. The tank destroyer is planned to carry a number of Polish-made optical-electronic subsystems that have already been mounted on the combat vehicles operated by the Polish military.

MBDA is planning to supply Poland with technologies to locally produce Brimstones, with Mesko S.A. (a subsidiary of PGZ) being responsible for licensed production. "This co-operation is another field of the business relationship developed on the strategic co-operation between PGZ companies and MBDA," said a spokesperson for the European company.

According to MBDA, the Brimstone guided missile weighs 50 kg, has a diameter of 180 mm and is 1.80 m long. It has been fitted with a combined guidance system (a millimetric wave radar plus semi-active laser seeker) and a tandem-shaped multipurpose warhead. The manufacturer does not detail the Brimstone’s armor-piercing capabilities, saying only that the missile "defeats all known conventional and [explosive] reactive armor". According to MBDA, the Brimstone has seen action during the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

At the MSPO 2019, PGZ unveiled a demonstrator of the new tank destroyer, which was mounted on the chassis of the BWP-1 IFV. The vehicle was armed with two separate containers with six ready-to-use Brimstones in each. The new platform received a remotely operated weapon station with a 12.7 mm heavy machinegun and six smoke grenade launchers.

The European missile manufacturer also demonstrated a concept of a Brimstone-loaded tank destroyer on a new tracked chassis. However, the variant on the BWP-1 is supposed to enter the serial production stage. It should be mentioned that neither MBDA nor PGZ disclosed any information about the tank destroyer’s development schedule.

Despite Poland’s recent efforts to introduce new land systems in large quantities, it is the BWP-1 that forms the backbone of the country’s mechanized troops. According to the Military Balance 2018 analytical report, the Polish land force operates 1,277 BWP-1s and only 600 Rosomak (licensed copy of Finland’s Patria IFV) armored fighting vehicles.


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