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Polish Army 16th Mechanized Division Debuts Borsuk IFV in First Military Exercise.

| 2023

According to pictures released on the Twitter account of "Marcin Cichy" on September 15, 2023, the 16th Mechanized Division of the Polish Army has conducted its first military exercise with the Borsuk, a new generation of amphibious Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) that will be entered into service with the Polish armed forces.
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The Borsuk is the future generation of IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle for the Polish Army. (Picture source Twitter Marcin Cich)

On February 28, 2023, the Polish Government revealed a partnership with the domestic firm, Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW), to manufacture and advance 1,400 Borsuk infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) in multiple models. Valued at over €10 Billion, this initiative marks the most significant venture for the Polish defense sector in half a century, as stated by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak. HSW has been entrusted with this among other projects.

The Borsuk IFV will come in two primary variants including a lighter version currently undergoing final tests with the Polish Land Forces, and a more robust version, the creation of which is set to commence soon.
The Borsuk, which translates to "Badger" in Polish, is an amphibious infantry fighting vehicle produced by Huta Stalowa Wola, a part of the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ). It was developed to replace the BWP-1 IFV, which has been in service with the Polish Armed Forces since 1973 but is now considered obsolete.

Regarding its technical specifications, the Borsuk has a mass of 28 tonnes and dimensions that span a length of 7.6 meters, a width of 3.4 meters, and an overall height of 3.34 meters. It is designed to accommodate a crew of three, which includes a commander, gunner, and driver. Additionally, it can transport six troopers.

The Borsuk's chassis is constructed from welded Armox 500T steel plates of varying thicknesses, arranged to function as spaced armor. Officially, the chassis offers STANAG 4569 level IV protection from the front and level III protection from the sides and rear against ballistic threats. It also provides protection against mine blasts at levels IIa and IIb. The ZSSW-30 turret's armor level hasn't been officially disclosed, but it's believed to offer level III protection for both its main structure and the missile container. Additionally, the Borsuk is equipped with the Obra-3 soft-kill active protection system, which can detect and counteract threats from laser-guided weapons.

Powering the Borsuk is a powerpack that consists of a 720 hp engine, which drives a six-gear Perkins X300 automatic transmission. The vehicle's running gear includes six dual rubber-lined road wheels on each side, with a hydropneumatic suspension system. The Borsuk can be fitted with different types of tracks, including steel tracks or composite rubber tracks. Impressively, the vehicle is fully amphibious without any special preparations. In water, it's propelled by two water jets with rotating nozzles. On the road, the Borsuk can reach a maximum speed of 65 km/h, and in water, it can achieve speeds of up to 8 km/h. Its operational range is approximately 550 km.

The Borsuk is armed with the ZSSW-30 remote control turret, which houses a 30 mm chain gun and a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun. The turret also features two anti-tank guided missiles in a launch container mounted on its right side. This turret can store around 300 30mm rounds and 250 machine gun rounds in ready-to-use mode. The design of the ATGM launch container offers advantages such as the separation of missiles from the rest of the turret, enhancing the safety of the crew. Both the 30mm automatic cannon and machine gun can be operated and reloaded from inside the turret. The automatic cannon can fire at rates of 200 RPM for standard ammunition and 120 RPM for airburst munitions. The ATGMs can target armor at ranges from 200 meters to 4 kilometers when guided manually, and up to 4.5 kilometers in fire-and-forget mode.

Defense News September 2023

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