September 2 in the Polish town of Kielce started international defense industry exhibition MSPO 2013. But one of the main novelties of this event was shown to the public recently. Polish defense consortium of companies before the opening of the exhibition showed its latest development — PL-01 tank.
About the beginning of the creation of a new project of the vehicle was announced in the midst of February this year. As reported then, businesses OBRUM, Bumar and Huta Stalowa Wola will be engaged in creating a promising tank for the Polish Armed Forces. A little later, in May, signed an agreement on cooperation with BAE Systems. Some information about the project in February was very poor. Polish industrialists announced only that the machine will be ready to have a combat weight of about 45-50 tons, fighting compartment fulfill uninhabited, and ammunition will be located in a secluded aft compartment. At the same time were shown the first images taken on the basis of available at the time of views regarding the type of combat vehicle promising. Tank partially resembled the paintings of other Polish development, armored personnel Anders, and, apparently, had to be rethought and substantially revised version of it.
After the February presentation project promising Polish tank at a time out of sight and reappeared in the news only after it was built and shown at its layout. In general, brought on Salon 2013 MSPO layout resembles that demonstrated in February this year. Yet, it has a number of differences. Maybe Polish tank builders took into account especially those or other decisions and changed some nuances promising type armored vehicles.
The project of the new Polish tank PL-01 still is far from practical implementation, but its main features to the true time identified and likely has not changed. Cursory inspection of the layout shown in the exhibition says that the project intensively used in the prior generation Polish tanks Anders, also at one time considered good development, that could drastically make a better state of the Polish armored forces.
In general, PL-01 repeats the general assembly of the tank Anders. Powerpack compartment (MTO) is placed in front of the armored hull, and the rest is given over to the crew accommodation and ammunition. In favor of the version of the frontal location MTO states as appropriate front part of the machine with the shifted reverse flap of the driver, and some hatch in the aft hull plates. The project was intended Anders last or loading ammunition (draft promising tank), or for landing troops (in a variant BMP based on the tank). Judging by the available disk imaging on placing the entire crew of armored inside this flap may be used for planting the commander and gunner.
The properties of the reservation provided for PL-01 project until early read. Presented layout gives no indication about this option project, and official information was not made public. Perhaps, as in other modern tanks, more massive booking meant to install in the front of the chassis. Tilt the upper front part is also able to make better security properties of the frontal projection. Layout shown on the sides are large screens comparable large thickness. Judging by the size and mind, these units are combined multilayer reservation and are designed to increase the possibility of survival of the machine in case of attack of modern anti-tank weapons.
The hull and turret PL-01 have a corresponding shape formed by several intersecting planes. Prerequisites such technical solution is not completely clear. Did the project take into account the ability to reduce radar signature. But there is another version, according to which the extraordinary appearance of the tank justified purely aesthetic views the project’s creators. One of the most versatile solutions under unusual appearance became casing guns. Corresponding rectangular design chopped form substantially different from that used on modern tanks solutions. Including this fact may also serve as proof of the aesthetic version of the origin of a number of units.
Unique casing covers allegedly 120mm smoothbore gun. For wheel housing sheet leaves only a small portion of the gun barrel and muzzle brake. Housing surface and mask tools specifically conjugated together, smoothly run across the upper and lower sheets booking tower. The tower itself is armed with advanced aft niche. It may, as in one embodiment of the tank Anders, will be located boeukladku units and part of the automatic loader. On the roof of the tower is located remotely controlled rotary turret with a machine gun caliber rifle and smoke grenade launchers. In addition, on the roof of the tower, near the sides, there are two blocks with some equipment, like a camera or other similar equipment. As can be seen from the construction of these devices, they can revolve around a vertical axis and swing in a vertical plane. Another unit with optical systems is in front of the tower, next to the mask tool. Crew accommodation inside the armored hull requests of appropriate measures in respect of means of monitoring the surroundings. Perhaps specifically for this tank PL-01 has a developed system of video and thermal imaging cameras.
For pointing guns, likely used systems installed over the instrument, as some devices right. On the front of the tower, to the right of the gun, there is a small alcove with 2 some devices. Left of the gun in the tower provides a large vertical slit, apparently created for the coaxial machine gun.
It is clear that the tank PL-01 will receive a promising fire control system zabugornogo production complex of active protection and a number of other fundamental systems. All have reason to believe that the creation of complex electronic equipment within the project promising Polish tank will engage international company BAE Systems. Clear information about this collaboration and the role of the project has not yet been made public.
PL-01 project is still in the earliest stages of design work. During the recent Polish tankostroitelny consortium will demonstrate at shows and exhibitions only layout. Building layout will come a couple of years. Tests scheduled to begin no earlier than 2016. If all the work will go in accordance with the existing schedule, already in 2018 will be supplied serial PL-01 customers. In view of the earliest stages of the project until early read exactly who acquire new Polish tanks. Most likely, they will be the launch customer for the Ministry of Defence of Poland, then we can expect orders from third countries.
In the light of available disk imaging project is now promising Polish tank looks fascinating, but at the same time versatile. Declared properties and the conclusions that can be drawn from the external appearance of the existing layout certainly make PL-01 quite fascinating project. With all this state of the Polish tank construction and the lack of any severe success in the past are forced to oscillate in the timeliness or even in the capacity of a successful closure of a new project. Yet, all such speculation may be biased and do not reflect the actual status of Polish tankostroitelnyh companies. Because worth to wait until the findings and wait for the Polish tankostroitelny consortium and its foreign counterparts announce the completion of the project or any other step.