Significant Development Since Last Public Showing
During MSPO in Kielce last year, Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) showcased the then latest version of its flagship programme – the BORSUK infantry fighting vehicle (IFV). On 3 September, at MSPO 2019, the company has shown a yet further updated version of the vehicle, also known as Nowy Bojowy Pływający Wóz Piechoty (NBPWP) or New Amphibious IFV.
BORSUK (or BADGER) is intended as the long-awaited replacement for the post-Soviet BMP-1 vehicles, of which Poland still has approximately 1,000 in service. Informed sources have told MON that up to 800 IFV variants of the vehicle could be ordered, with an equal number of specialised variants in prospect.
The prototype debuted at MSPO 2017. In the intervening two years, much has changed – particularly when today’s vehicle is compared with the one displayed in Kielce last year. The front of the vehicle has been re-designed, to include new lights and a breakwater. Composite side armour has also been fitted and the rear troop compartment design has now been completed and finalised – last year it was just a mock-up.
The version presented at MSPO 2019 this week is once again equipped with the ZSSW remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS), which is jointly produced by WB Electronics and HSW. It is expected that the ZSSW-30 will also be integrated onto the ROSOMAK wheeled vehicles. When deployed, it will be Poland’s first-ever advanced RCWS of such complexity. The main armament of the ZSSW-30 is an ATK (now Northrop Grumman) Mk44 BUSHMASTER II 30 mm cannon with a co-axial UKM-2000C 7.62 mm gun and two SPIKE-LR anti-tank missiles installed on the right side. The ZSSW will be equipped with the SSP-1 OBRA-3 Laser Warning System. In the future, the 30 mm cannon will most likely be replaced by a 40 mm gun, also provided by Northrop Grumman. At the exhibition, it was revealed that the Polish Army is currently finalising the contract with Northrop Grumman to field the MK310 for use with the ROSOMAK fleet. This should be completed shortly after MSPO. The BORSUK and its MK44 CHAIN GUN will also be able to use the MK310 ammunition.
The BORSUK project has been funded by the National Research & Development Centre (Narodowe Centrum Badań i Rozwoju – NCBR), in which HSW is a project leader. The project was launched in 2013 in cooperation with OBRUM, Rosomak SA, Wojskowe Zakłady Elektroniczne (WZE), Wojskowe Zakłądy Inżynieryjne (WZI), Wojskowe Zakłady Motoryzacyjne (WZM), Akademia Obrony Narodowej (AON), Wojskowa Akademia Techniczna (WAT), Wojskowy Instytut Techniki Pancernej i Samochodowej (WITPiS) and Politechnika Warszawska (PW).
Official plans schedule qualification works to be accomplished in 2020. All development work is anticipated for completion by 2021 and BORSUK is expected to be ready for series production in late 2021. At MSPO 2019 it was confirmed that the current variant of BORSUK has recently passed static and dynamic trials. Given HSW’s production capabilities and Poland’s financial constraints, it is anticipated that the Polish Army will receive up to 50 vehicles annually.