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MSPO 2022: WZM unveils modified BWP-1M reconnaissance vehicle

WZM unveiled a modernised BWP-1M reconnaissance vehicle at MSPO 2022. (Janes/Christopher Petrov)

A new modernisation of the BWP-1 armoured vehicle is showcased at the International Defence Industry Exhibition MSPO 2022 being held in Kielce on 6–9 September. The proposed modernisation, designated as BWP-1M, is intended to upgrade the reconnaissance capabilities of the BWP-1, as well as boost the crew's situational awareness and increase the internal volume of the vehicle. Wojskowe Zakłady Motoryzacyjne (WZM) proposes that the modernisation be implemented on all BWP-1 family tracked vehicles, which are based on the Soviet BMP-1.

The most noticeable change has been the raising of the roof of the vehicle to enable increased internal volume that provides space for additional equipment and enables a more spacious crew compartment compared with the cramped interiors of the BWP-1 and BMP-1. This has increased the weight of the vehicle to approximately 15 tonnes while using the same base engine and chassis components. The vehicle retains the same amphibious capabilities of the BWP-1 because of sealed hollow side skirts, increasing buoyancy in water.

Because of the new roof design, the vehicle is no longer equipped with the original BMP-1 turret and 2A28 Grom 73 mm gun. WZM has instead integrated the ZSMU-1276 remotely operate weapons station (ROWS) from Zakłady Mechaniczne Tarnów. The ROWS is offered with a locally built NSV 12.7 mm machine gun but can be tailored to client requirements. The fully stabilised ROWS has a layout of electro-optical sensors including a daylight camera, a night-time thermal imager, and a laser rangefinder. As a result of hull modifications, the vehicle has not retained the rear exit doors and has instead opted for a ramp design, removing the pair of fuel-carrying doors.

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