The Polish government will purchase around 1,000 Borsuk infantry fighting vehicles this week to replace the country’s Soviet-era BWP-1.
The Polish Ministry of National Defence will award the contract to a consortium of local companies led by Huta Stalowa Wola, Polskie Radio revealed, citing the ministry’s deputy head Wojciech Skurkiewicz.
“This is a very important contract for the Polish armaments industry and the Polish Army,” the outlet quoted the minister as saying.
The consortium began developing the tracked vehicle in 2014, displaying the technology demonstrator in 2017.
It underwent state trials in 2020, with Prototype construction beginning two years later.
Operational trials began in November 2022, including shooting and tactical drills.
The Polish Army is currently conducting its final trials, according to Polskie Radio.
Russian Invasion Increased Demand
Warsaw’s initial plan was to procure 10 battalions of Borsuks (around 588 vehicles), sign the production agreement in 2022, and deliver by 2035, according to Mezha.
However, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted a review of the plan, resulting in an upgrade to 1,000.
The expected purchase comes weeks after Warsaw announced a defense budget increase to four percent of GDP this year.
The country’s defense spending last year was 2.4 percent of GDP.
This comes amid a spate of recent defense purchases the country has made, including 116 Abrams tanks from the US.
The vehicle chassis is based on the South Korean K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer, while its modular armor is adjustable.
The Borsuk comes in multiple versions, with the lightest being an amphibious version at 25 tons and the heaviest at 40 tons.
The vehicle’s ZSSW-30 unmanned turret features a WB Electronics automated fire control system, a 30-mm Mk 44S Bushmaster gun, and a 7.62-mm UKM-2000C machine gun.
The turret also features a Spike LR anti-tank missile launcher with a range of 5,500 meters (18,044 feet).