Comprehensive Upgrade as Interim Solution Awaiting BORSUK Arrival
Wojskowe Zakłady Motoryzacyjne (WZM) presented a modernisation package for the BMP-1 (local designation BWP-1) at MSPO 2021 yesterday.
Official plan envision the BWP-1 fleet being replaced by the BORSUK AIFV, but Warsaw now seeks to modernise a limited number of the estimated 1,200 still in service as an interim solution until BORSUK becomes fully operational, sometime after 2030.
The vehicle unveiled yesterday has a modified, larger chassis, a new powerpack and the MTU 6R 106 TD21 engine, strengthened suspension, heating and air-conditioning integrated with a fume exhaust system, modern NBC detection, a new fire protection system, and an enhanced electrical system. It has STANAG 4569 Level 3 protection (STANAG 4569B optional), modern external communication system, digital 360° observation system and the SSP-1 OBRA-3 self-protection system.
Labelled an “extended version” by WZM, the vehicle has the 73mm gun removed and replaced with a Cockerill 1030 remotely-controlled station integrated with the BUSHMASTER Mk44S 30 mm gun and a 7.62 mm machinegun. It has also eight smoke-grenade launchers, integrated with a self-protection system, and a twin ATGM launcher. It has a crew of three (like the original variant) and up to six passengers (instead of eight in a standard version).
It is worth noting that, during MSPO 2019, WZM presented other modernisation packages for the BMP-1s, including modernisation of the chassis, anew turret (the Kongsberg PROTECTOR RWS LW-30 with the 30mm BUSHMASTER M230LF 30 mm cannon and co-axial UKM-2000C 7.62mm, smoke-grenade launchers integrated with the SSP-1 OBRA-3 self-protection system), power-pack with the 6R 106 TD21 engine, strengthened suspension system, heating and air-conditioning integrated with fume exhaust system, modern NBC threat detection system, new fire protection and explosion suppression system, more advanced electrical installation, replacement of electrical systems, ballistic protection (level 3 STANAG 4569), modern external/internal communication system, and 360° situational awareness system. WZM added its upgraded version could also be integrated with ATGMs, such as SPIKE, already in Polish service.
The new modernisation package presented during MSPO 2021 is being offered to Polish and foreign customers, and the company has all the expertise and facilities to conduct the appropriate upgrades – it has, for example, been modernizing Poland’s BWR-1S/D reconnaissance vehicles.
Robert Czulda reporting from MSPO for MON