Saturday, August 04, 2012

Anders Light Tank going into production



Wow.  via DefenseNews.
WARSAW — The Polish Army plans to acquire up to 1,000 new tanks in different variants, reported local daily Rzeczpospolita.
It is expected that Poland’s Ministry of Defense will sign a deal to launch production of the Anders, the tank prototype developed by Bumar Group’s OBRUM Gliwice research unit, according to the Polish newspaper.
“The order will be placed with the Polish defense industry, but to boost the design and production phase, it will be vital to cooperate with top foreign defense manufacturers,” said retired . Gen. Waldemar Skrzypczak, Poland’s deputy defense minister responsible for the armed forces’ modernization.
The Polish tank program is part of a plan to overhaul the country’s land forces. In January, Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said that “launching a national tank program as part of efforts to increase the [land forces’] mobility” is one of the Army’s key modernization priorities.
The amount of the planned purchase was not disclosed by the deputy defense minister.
As earlier reported, the prototype is a 32- to 40-ton vehicle, depending on the configuration. The light tank carries a 120mm gun by Swiss group Ruag, and it can carry a crew of three to seven. The Anders was fitted with a 530-kilowatt engine produced by Germany’s MTU Friedrichshafen, which enables a maximum speed capacity of 50 mph. Its turret was equipped with a Trophy active protection system made by Israel’s Rafael.
The Polish military plans to begin testing the Anders within two years, Skrzypczak said.
Krzysztof Krystowski, Bumar’s CEO, has announced plans to involve private defense companies in what could be one of the largest acquisitions of the Polish armed forces in the forthcoming years.
Set up in 2002, the state-owned Bumar Group is Poland’s leading defense industry player.
Thanks for the news Jonathan!


7 comments:

  1. I wish I knew anyone, or even of anyone, that could shed some light on how this fits into Poland's force structure? One suspects that the article is a bit misleading in that it's not clear how many of the 120mm gun version they're buying, it's not even going to be tested for 2 years, when the vehicle is supposed to replace the BMP in Polish service?

    Certainly this light tank version is not going to replace the Leo 2's and PT-91's in the army's heavy brigades but will they in fact use it in the mechanized brigades and exactly how within the force structure? Is it considered a tank destroyer? I'm thus quite curious to know how many 120mm versions they eventually decide to purchase and exactly how they are utilized?

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  3. I think the Anders program has the potential for being an attractive option for many of the Eastern European nations seeking a replacement for their T-72s and BMPs. It would be an upgrade in technology, offer commonality and a good catalyst for the larger of those countries defense industries.

    A smaller number of Leopard IIs or refurbed M1-A1's to combine with the Anders in a hi-lo mix with Tank destroyers, IFVs, AMOS Mortars, Recovery vehicles, etc. would be pretty attractive.

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  4. It was developed as a private venture and as a potential family of vehicles, so I don't think anyone really knows how the Polish Army plans on using it, or even if they are.

    Replacing aging BMPs with a modern IFV is the most obvious role but Poland already license produces the Patria AMV as the Rosomak (wolverine) so that is probably far from a done deal.

    For using it as a tank replacement, there's a couple interesting issues:
    -- if there is no money available to develop a new heavy tank locally, choices may come down to a domestically built Anders variant or a foreign built heavy. A national industrial policy will favor the Anders.
    -- there's the commonality argument for going all Anders, with presumably reduced costs from standardizing the tracked vehicle fleet. This is probably what the manufacturer is pushing.
    -- You can get into an interesting discussion about how a medium tank with Trophy compares to current heavies (I can't bring myself to call a tank the same weight as a T-54 a "light" tank). A medium tank with trophy is arguably more immune to infantry antitank weapons, including ATGMs, than a heavy tank since it is immune all around, not just from the front. Both vehicles, on the other hand, are probably going to be killed by a modern 120mm gun/ammunition combination from any angle so what's the difference? Sure this is oversimplified, there are issues with depending on Trophy even if it works as advertised, but the argument isn't crazy.

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  5. well what you're seeing is the melding of IFV's and tanks. that should be an interesting exercise. also might i say that you're seeing wheeled IFVs being abandonded by many units that have used them as front line vehicles in war.

    the Wolverine (patria AMV) was used as a frontline vehicle, as was the Stryker...the LAV25 was used in a scouting type role and guess which one is continuing with little modification. the LAV25. the Stryker and the AMV are being upgraded armor wise because they just didn't stand up.

    additionally you'll see that the vaunted mobility of wheeled vehicles goes way down once they get past 30 tons. some of thes vehicles are now pushing 40 tons.

    what no one wants to admit is this. TRACKS ARE MAKING A COMEBACK!

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  6. Still, I really do not see the Anders as a tank replacement. It would be more appropriate as an assault gun accompanying the IFVs. A company of 120mm Anders attached organically to a mechanized inf. battalion wouldn't be hard to imagine.

    What would really be sweet is Anders equipped with the 120mm AMOS system.

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  7. medium weight forces are all the rage.

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