Armor: Poland Enters The Export Market

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September 2, 2015:   In mid-2015 Slovakia ordered 30 Rosomak Wheeled Armored Vehicles from a Polish firm. These vehicles will cost about $1.1 million each and are the first export sale. Rosomak is a Polish design that began as a licensed variant of Finnish AMV (Armored Modular Vehicle). Rosomak is not just a license built AMV but a Polish variant that is, unlike the AMV, amphibious and air transportable by C-130 transports. Moreover Rosomak has extensive and successful combat with Polish troops in Afghanistan and peacekeepers in Chad and Central African Republic.

Rosomak is available as 8x8 or 6x6 wheeled vehicles weighing 16-26 tons, depending on configuration (like armor, weapons, or engine). In particular, the vehicle is built to accept several degrees of armor enhancements.

Poland is the largest foreign customer for the AMV, and Rosomaks are assembled in Poland using a lot of Polish components along with a lot of Polish modifications. The basic infantry version has a 30mm Bushmaster II autocannon in a turret, along with a 7.62mm machine-gun. This version has a crew of three and carries 8-12 passengers. The Rosomaks in Afghanistan were mostly on the heavy side because of increased use of armor. There were several models in Afghanistan (infantry carriers, ambulance, command, and surveillance). There was even a surveillance model equipped with an Israeli surveillance package. This included a radar, thermal sensor, motion sensor, and a small UAV. One of these vehicles can move to some high ground and detect activity over a wide area (out to ten kilometers, night or day, and in any weather).

The original 2002 Polish AMV license was for 690 AMV vehicles with no rights to sell them abroad but in 2013 the contract was renegotiated for additional 307 vehicles and export restrictions were removed. As a result Poles started to seek for potential buyers.

The Slovakian Army Rosomaks have different armament and turrets. While the Poles use the manned Oto Melara Hitfist-30P turret with American Mk 44 Bushmaster II 30mm gun the Slovakian variant will use the unmanned Tura 30 turret which can host locally made 2A42 30mm gun as main armament coupled with PKT 7.62 mm machine gun. All Rosomak turrets can also be equipped with Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM), such as the Russian Konkurs (also locally produced) or the Israeli Spike.

The first KTO Rosomak export sale was largely the result of Polish willingness to cooperate with the customer on modifications. Other former Warsaw Pact East European countries need a vehicle like Rosomak to replace their Cold War era equipment. So far the only competitor has been the Austrian Pandur II. The Czech Republic bought some of these and was not happy.

 

 


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