Jan 06, 2016 00:05 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
The indigenous led modernization of Poland’s armed forces continues, after Warsaw signed contracts to upgrade 128 of its Leopard 2A4 battle tanks. The $605.7 million deal will see prime contractor Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ) and integrator ZM Bumar-Labedy conduct the works due to be completed by 2020, with options to upgrade fourteen more. Bought from ex-German stocks in 2002, the tanks will see work done to turrets, chassis and other equipment as well as upgrades to Poland’s tank training simulators.
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Polish Leopard 2A4 and 2A5 tanks
The Polish Land Forces operate 128 Leopard 2A4s and ordered 14 more Leopard 2A4s and 105 Leopard 2A5s as of March 2013. The Polish Leopard 2 tanks serve with the 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade based in Świętoszów. By November 2013, the Polish Defense Ministry had acquired 119 tanks (105 Leopard 2A5s and 14 2A4s) from the German Army. All acquired Leopard 2A4 tanks are to be upgraded to Leopard 2PL standard. The first 11 Leopard 2A5s arrived with the 34th Armoured Cavalry Brigade based in Żagań on 16 May 2014. (wikiwand.com)
Although not yet revealed exact technical parameters Leopards 2GB (such designation adopted for the upgraded tanks), it is known that the Polish army first modernized Tank is expected to receive next fall. All parties will be modernized by the end of 2019. The contract for the modernization is estimated at about one billion dollars. (polska-zbrojna.pl)
2PL upgrade standard
The contract includes upgrades to the MBTs’ turret, chassis, and other equipment to F6 level (with co-operation from subcontractor WZM Poznan), and the modernisation of Poland’s tank training simulators.
The upgrade will include a modernisation of the MBTs’ turret armour to a level at least that of the Leopard 2A5 variant, while not exceeding a total weight of 60 tons for the Leopard 2PL. This will include a partial change of the MBT’s turret armour plates, and the addition of extra armour developed by IBD. Spall liners will also be added in the crew compartment of the turret, while internal storage and stowage capabilities will be extended.
The upgrade will see the tanks retain their existing L44 120 mm gun (rather than be upgraded with the longer L55 gun), although it and its fire control system will be upgraded for compatibility with the newest DM11 and DM63-type armour-piercing ammunition. A more substantial upgrade will come in the form of new commander and gunner sights incorporating the Polish PCO KLW-1 thermal imager, while the gun and turret stabiliser systems will be changed from hydraulic to electric. (IHS Janes)