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MSPO 2021: WZM displays extended version of modified BWP-1 Infantry Combat Vehicle.

| 2021

Modernization of infantry combat vehicles is a solution that allows the Polish armed forces to get combat vehicles and special versions in up-to-date variants. An example is provided with the new BWP-1 amphibious Infantry Combat Vehicle called Borsuk. A consortium made of Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ) and Wojskowe Zakłady Motoryzacyjne (WZM) will implement the modernization program of this vehicle for the Polish armed forces. Work will include major repair works of 31 vehicles and maintenance overhauls of nine other BWP-1 IFVs under the guaranteed contract. The agreement also includes an option of two overhauls and three maintenance overhauls. The deal will be executed between 2022 and 2024, with the first deliveries scheduled next year. On September 3, 2019, Army Recognition presented this new version of the BWP-1.

Army Recognition Official Show Daily News and Web TV UMEX 2020 925 001
Upgraded BWP-1 Borsuk IFV displayed at MSPO 2021 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The Borsuk armored vehicle manufactured by Wojskowe Zaklady Motoryzacyjne, a program to replace the Polish Land Forces' BMP/BWP-1 family, represents a significant long-term commitment on the part of the Ministry of National Defense and the Polish government. A number of the army's previous efforts in this sphere, ranging from the BWP-2000 program in the 1990s to the abortive Obrum-led project of the early 2010s, ultimately faltered due to a mixture of developmental shortcomings, procedural gridlock, and imposing financial projections.

However, the fairly smooth evolution of the Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) Borsuk IFV program and the highly successful licensed production of vehicles such as the 8x8 Rosomak IFV indicate growing confidence on the part of the Polish defense industry in its ability to implement armored vehicle projects on a large scale.

In the latest iterations of its Technical Modernization Plans, the Polish Ministry of National Defense has outlined a long-term requirement for the acquisition of 1,600 new-build tracked armored vehicles. Of this figure, at least 800 vehicles are to serve as mainline IFVs, with the remainder configured to perform a wide range of secondary roles. The program is on schedule to enter the final testing phase in 2021 and enter serial production in 2022.


The hull (body) has been enhanced. A new powertrain replaces the original one. The suspension system has been improved and strengthened. An efficient heating and air conditioning system has been installed, along with a fume extractor. A more efficient NRBC system has been fitted that enhances the detection part of the work. New fire protection and explosion damping systems have been put in place. The whole electric wiring has been replaced, with modular (thus improvable) systems/blocks, new communication devices are included a well as new omnidirectional observation systems, and last but not least, better ballistic protection is provided: level 3 STANAG 4569


Originally, the BWP-1 is armed with a 73mm cannon, a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, and a Sagger anti-tank missile launcher. The new amphibious Borsuk is equipped with a remote-controlled turret system armed with a 30mm automatic gun and a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun, a twin-antitank missile launcher, besides four smoke grenade launchers. This turret is designed to combat, destroy and suppress light and heavily armored targets and other objects, including enemy's infrastructure in different climate conditions, and to provide fire support for units during combat activities, irrespective of the time of the day.

Army Recognition Official Show Daily News and Web TV UMEX 2020 925 001
Upgraded BWP-1 Borsuk IFV displayed at MSPO 2019 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

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