Polish Army Places Pre-Development Order for Eight Systems
Polish companies profiled solutions for scattering battlefield and area denial mines during MSPO 2019 in Kielce this week.
The vehicles are on offer to the international market but should also be of interest to the Polish Army, which currently just six KROTON minelayers, mounted on a tracked MT-LB chassis.
The most advanced of the two proposals is a prototype of the BAOBAB wheeled, self-propelled minelayer, designed by a group of Polish companies led by Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) and including BZE BELMA, WITI Wrocław and Jelcz. The BAOBAB mine launchers can be mounted on any type of truck and the Polish Army has already placed an order for eight on an 8×8 chassis and mounting six launchers, designated BAOBAB-K. Development is scheduled to be completed by 2021.
BAOBAB is equipped with four mine launchers, each containing 100 MN-123 anti-tank mines. It can be equipped with additional systems, including self-defence systems such as 81mm smoke grenade launchers and a ZSMU remotely-controlled weapon station (RCWS) with a 12.7mm machinegun. It is also equipped with an on-board computer,an imaging terminal with digital map, the FONET internal communication system, GPS and an odometer. According to HSW, BAOBAB can work both automatic and manual mode, the former in which calculates “settings and retains launching frequency during vehicle travel to ensure correct parameters of the minefield. Additionally, minefield parameters and coordinates of minefield corners are recorded on digital maps and displayed on the computer screen. All the data can then be sent via radio to a higher command level,” the company stated.
System length is 9.4m, height to the mine launchers is 3.1m (2.5m in march mode and 2.8in combat mode). Weight for a four-launcher platform is 3,420kg – rising to 4,260kg for a future six-launcher variant) 4,260kg: these launchers can be reloaded in 20 and 30 mins per launcher respectively. One unit of mines can be laid in 15 mins by the former variant, 22 mins by the latter, at a laying speed of 5-25km/h, laying mines 30-90m either side of the vehicle.
BZE BELMA (Bydgoskie Zakłady Elektromechaniczne) from Bydgoszcz showcased the TMN and MZK-E mine throwers. The system is designed to scatter MN-123 anti-tank mines and is unique in doing so at a greater range, according to the manufacturer. A launcher can fire up to 20 mine cassettes, each of five mines in each, to a maximum 180m range (minimum 30m) and features operator-controlled scattering density. Total weight is 360 kg and dimensions 142 x 90 x 130cm. It can be reloaded in 20 minutes. The MN-123 features a bi-directional shaped-charge Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP) which can penetrate up to 60mm or rolled homogenous armour and can be fitted with a magnetic, delayed or instant fuze type. More importantly, the MN-123 is also equipped with a programmable self-destruct mechanism.