May. 28, 2013 - By ANDREW CHUTER – Defense News
LONDON — BAE Systems has struck a teaming deal with state-owned Polish Defense Holding to compete for the Central European country’s upcoming tracked fighting vehicle program.
The companies are expected to formally join forces Wednesday, when the deal is to be officially signed to offer a family of 25-ton-plus tracked fighting vehicles to meet the Polish military’s Universal Tracked Platform requirement.
With an eventual requirement for more than 600 vehicles, the competition for heavy tracked machines is set to be Europe’s biggest upcoming export competition in the sector.
Poland is one of the few European nations still increasing defense spending. It has a number of significant capability improvements in its defense spending plans, including implementation of a national armor program that encompasses the heavy requirement being addressed by BAE and Polish Defense Holding and a light armored vehicle requirement.
No mention is made of the platform to be offered by the new team but it almost certainly will draw on BAE’s CV-90 vehicle technology, particularly the chassis.
Technology from the unsuccessful Anders armored vehicle program previously developed by Polish Defense Holding will also likely find its way onto the machine.
Polish Defense Holding was formerly known as the Bumar Group.
With the first production vehicle required for delivery to the Polish Army in 2018, the winning contender likely will be largely an off-the-shelf solution.
Requirements for the multibillion zloty program are expected to be released by the Polish Defense Ministry later this year. The program is scheduled for completion by 2022.
“Polish Defense Holding’s experience as an in-country prime contractor will be instrumental in developing solutions for this new family of armored fighting vehicles that will meet the military’s requirements and facilitate production in Poland,” said Erwin Bieber, president of BAE’s Land & Armaments sector.