August 21, 2016

Poland working with BAE systems should have full prototype of the PL-01 tank this year

The PL-01 concept tank is being jointly developed by Obrum of Poland and BAE Systems of the United Kingdom. Development started in 2013. A full prototype is estimated to be completed in 2016, and should the project be finaliZed and approved following evaluation, mass production is scheduled to begin in 2018

Currently Polish Army operate about 900 main battle tanks, including PT-91 Twardy and Leopard 2. Also there are about 400 T-72 MBTs in storage. Once in production the PL-01 will be also proposed for export customers.

Poland's parliamentary committee of national defense has approved a defense budget for 2016 of PLN35.9 billion (USD8.9 billion), a rise of 9.4% over last year. The lion's share - PLN1.9 billion - will go to Poland's armed forces technical modernization programme. In total, Poland will spend PLN9.3 billion on the modernization programme, with PLN0.9 billion going to military research and development programmes.

Poland is ranked 5th fastest growing economy in EU and is forecast to have 3.5% GDP growth in 2016 and 2017

The PL-01 is based on the Swedish CV90120-T light tank. The PL-01 also shares some similarities with the Anders light tank, which is also based on the same platform. Weight of the future PL-01 tank is claimed to to be 35 t. Other sources claim that production tank will weight about 45-50 t.

The new Polish tank will have modular protection with multi-layer ceramic-aramid armor

The project is remarkable for the Polish military because the new tank will allow for replacing German-made Leopard-2 tanks.

The PL-01 would be rival to the newest Russian T-14 tank based on the versatile Armata platform.

Armor Plates would adjust to ambient temperature to make it invisible to infrared

The vehicle armor has a modular ceramic-aramid shell, which is designed to provide protection compatible with NATO standard STANAG 4569 Annex A at level 5+ across the front portions of the hull and turret. Additional armor panels are mounted on the turret and hull, and are designed to provide full protection against a range of projectiles. The hull of the vehicle provides protection against improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and landmines in accordance with appendix B parts 4a and 4b of the STANAG 4569 standard. The entire vehicle will be covered with radiation-absorbent material.

The PL-01 will be equipped with a 940 horsepower (700 kW)+ diesel engine coupled to a torque converter, automatic gearbox and driving assistance mechanism. The suspension is based on seven wheels, with the drive shafts having active damping of torsion bars mounted on the first and last two pairs. The vehicle can reach speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour (43 mph) on paved roads and 50 kilometers per hour (31 mph) in rough terrain with a maximum range of 500 kilometers (310 mi). It can successfully climb an inclination of 30 degrees, cross ditches and trenches to a width of 2.6 meters (8 ft 6 in), and cross water obstacles with a depth of up to 1.5 meters (4 ft 11 in) without preparation, and up to 5 meters (16 ft) deep with preparation

The primary weapon of the PL-01 is a 105 or 120 mm caliber gun fitted within the unmanned turret, in accordance with NATO standards. The cannon will be able to shoot both conventional projectiles and guided anti-tank missiles. The autoloader ensures a shot fire rate of 6 per minute. The vehicle carries 45 rounds, of which 16 are located in slots within the turret and ready to fire, and the remainder stored within the chassis compartment. The tank is also armed with a 7.62 mm caliber UKM-2000C machine gun with an ammunition supply of 1,000 rounds.

Additional equipment will be installed in a remote-controlled module. Presently the planned designs include a 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm caliber machine gun or a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher with a supply of 750 rounds of 7.62 mm, 400 rounds of 12.7 mm or 96 rounds of 40 mm grenades. Also built into the turret is an active defense system which intercepts incoming missiles and smoke grenade launchers

SOURCES- Youtube, Wikipedia, Military Today, Sputnik News, Janes, Linkedin

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