WARSAW — The Polish Army plans to acquire up to 1,000 new tanks in different variants, reported local daily Rzeczpospolita.
It is expected that Poland’s Ministry of Defense will sign a deal to launch production of the Anders, the tank prototype developed by Bumar Group’s OBRUM Gliwice research unit, according to the Polish newspaper.
“The order will be placed with the Polish defense industry, but to boost the design and production phase, it will be vital to cooperate with top foreign defense manufacturers,” said retired . Gen. Waldemar Skrzypczak, Poland’s deputy defense minister responsible for the armed forces’ modernization.
The Polish tank program is part of a plan to overhaul the country’s land forces. In January, Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said that “launching a national tank program as part of efforts to increase the [land forces’] mobility” is one of the Army’s key modernization priorities.
The amount of the planned purchase was not disclosed by the deputy defense minister.
As earlier reported, the prototype is a 32- to 40-ton vehicle, depending on the configuration. The light tank carries a 120mm gun by Swiss group Ruag, and it can carry a crew of three to seven. The Anders was fitted with a 530-kilowatt engine produced by Germany’s MTU Friedrichshafen, which enables a maximum speed capacity of 50 mph. Its turret was equipped with a Trophy active protection system made by Israel’s Rafael.
The Polish military plans to begin testing the Anders within two years, Skrzypczak said.
Krzysztof Krystowski, Bumar’s CEO, has announced plans to involve private defense companies in what could be one of the largest acquisitions of the Polish armed forces in the forthcoming years.
Set up in 2002, the state-owned Bumar Group is Poland’s leading defense industry player.