WARSAW — The Polish government is planning to spend up to 80 billion zloty (US $21 billion) on a program to replace its military’s Soviet-designed BWP-1 and BWP-2 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) with new tracked vehicles, Deputy Defense Minister Bartosz Kownacki told local news agency PAP.
"This is a major undertaking for the next dozen years which, according to various estimates, will generate a cost of between 20 and 80 billion zloty if we decide to acquire two types of infantry fighting vehicles, lighter and heavier units," Kownacki said.
According to the deputy defense minister, the government is considering various partnerships on the project. This includes launching a joint procurement with the neighboring Czech Republic, as well as using the license for South Korea’s K9 chassis, which was acquired by Polish manufacturer Huta Stalowa Wola for its ASM Krab 155mm self-propelled howitzer.
The BWP-1 and BWP-2 are locally built variants of the Soviet BMP-1 and BMP-2 vehicles. Currently, the Polish land forces operate more than 1,000 units of the two IFVs.
Poland has intensified efforts to replace its predominantly Soviet-designed military gear following Moscow’s intervention in neighboring Ukraine and Russia’s takeover of the Crimean peninsula.