Poland’s Armament Inspectorate has begun a market analysis on the possible upgrade of the T-72M1/M1D tank.
“We want to modernise the T-72,” Deputy Defence Minister Bartosz Kownacki told the Gazeta Polska Codziennie daily on 8 December. “Upgrading a tank costs around PLN4 million (USD1.1 million). We have 300 such vehicles, so the contract will be for over PLN1 billion.”
The 18-month analysis will be followed by a formal procedure.
The plan is to upgrade existing second-line tanks to a new standard and use them as an interim solution before a new generation tank is introduced.
New 125 mm ammunition is planned to increase the upgraded T-72’s anti-tank capability.
Bumar-Łabędy, part of Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ), unveiled the PT-91M2 modernisation package for the T-72 at the MSPO defence exhibition in September.
The upgraded tank is equipped with new generation ERAWA reactive armour and additional rear cage armour. It is armed with a Slovak-produced 2A46MS125 mm/L46 gun with a modernised automatic carousel loader and fitted with the SAVAN-15 fire control system. Additional ammunition has been relocated inside the hull.
The driver’s seat is equipped with a PNK-72 Radomka night vision driver sight and KDN-1 Nyks day/night rear camera. Optional equipment includes a TKN-3Z night vision sight for the commander and SOD 360-degree observation system already installed In the M120K Rak self-propelled mortar.
The PT-91M2 features a reinforced suspension and upgraded Cx mechanical transmission with an 850-hp S-12U engine. The tank has steel tracks with rubber pads and an auxiliary power unit.
Jane’s has also learned about plans for wz. 77 Dana 8x8 wheeled 152 mm self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) to be upgraded in 2018–20.
Poland plans to retain the 152 mm gun instead of replacing it with a NATO standard 155 mm howitzer.
The main focus of the modernisation will be to upgrade the Tatra T-815 VT Kolos chassis and SPH gun recoil and electro-hydraulic elevation system to reduce the time needed between the first and last shot.
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