by J. Kasper Oestergaard, European Correspondent, Forecast International.
At the 28th MSPO International Defence Industry Exhibition in Kielce, Poland, the Polish Ministry of Defense downselected four out of 12 multipurpose armored vehicles for the next stage of the Pegaz (Pegasus) competition. The much-delayed Pegaz program initially called for deliveries of 280 vehicles between 2017 and 2022 for Poland’s Special Operations Forces and military police, with several hundred more vehicles for the land forces following from 2023 onward. However, the program suffered from delays and was eventually relaunched in June 2019.
The initial order concerns the delivery of 15 vehicles for the Special Operations Forces, and the Armament Inspectorate of the Polish MoD has requested seven features: high mobility; crew protection against enemy weapons, including mines and IEDs; combat capabilities; fire support capabilities; multipurpose capacity; command support capability; and the ability to act as a wheeled personnel and equipment transport platform. The maximum quantity of vehicles that will be acquired is 105 (15 firm + 90 optional).
The four vehicles that will proceed to the next stage are:
- Fortress Mk 2 – jointly offered by France’s Arquus (formerly Renault Trucks Defense) and Polish company H. Cegielski-Poznan
- Hawkei – developed by Thales
- Patriot II – offered by Polish manufacturer Huta Stalowa Wola and Czechoslovak Group’s Tatra Defence Vehicle
- TUR V – developed by Polish vehicle-maker AMZ-Kutno
The Arquus Fortress Mk 2 is a 14.5-tonne 4×4 armored combat vehicle designed to transport a combat group of 11 soldiers. The vehicle features an armored monocoque hull, independent suspension, automatic transmission, and a six-cylinder 340-hp engine, which gives the Fortress Mk 2 a top speed of 120 km/h and a range of 1,200 kilometers (746 miles). The APC variant can be converted to ambulance and command post versions. The remote control weapon station (RCWS) accommodates a wide range of weaponry, from 5.56mm to 12.7mm. The vehicle also accommodates 7.62 / 12.7 / 14.5mm manned turrets and a grenade launcher.
The Hawkei from Thales is a 10-tonne, 4×4 armored multipurpose combat vehicle that features a V-shaped monocoque hull, independent suspension, automatic transmission, and central tire inflation. A 4-tonne trailer is available for increased load-carrying capability. The vehicle carries a 3-tonne payload and provides seating for up to five occupants in the four-door variant or up to three occupants in the two-door variant. The 268-hp twin-turbo diesel engine gives the vehicle a top speed of 115 km/h and a range of 600+ kilometers (373+ miles). Roles include troop movement, command and control, electronic warfare, liaison, surveillance, and reconnaissance. The vehicle supports the following weaponry in RCWS or manned turret options: a 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun, a 40mm grenade launcher, a 30mm cannon, and guided rockets or missiles.
The Patriot II is a 15-tonne armored multipurpose combat vehicle developed by Excalibur Army in cooperation with H Cegielski-Poznan and Tatra Defence Vehicle. Both are part of Czechoslovak Group (CSG). The vehicle carries a driver, a commander, and six troops. The vehicle comes with the Tatra Force 4×4 chassis which features independent swinging air-suspended half-axles. The Patriot II features two engine options, either a 362-hp Cummins ISL diesel engine or a 402-hp Tatra T3C-928-90 diesel engine. Both options give the vehicle a top speed of 110 km/h and a range of 600+ kilometers (373+ miles). The vehicle’s air suspension system makes it possible for the driver to increase the clearance by 70mm or lower the maximum height by 100mm on the go. The vehicle supports the following weaponry: up to 20mm automatic cannon in RCWS or 7.62 / 12.7 / 14.5mm manned turrets; mortar; and an anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) or grenade launcher.
The 9-tonne TUR V is a 4×4 multipurpose armored vehicle that can accommodate up to four military personnel, including driver and commander. The vehicle is fitted with a 4×4 two-axle drivetrain and independent suspension of all wheels, and is equipped with an Iveco N60 diesel engine coupled to an Allison 3000SP automatic transmission. The TUR V can reach a top speed of 110km/h and has a maximum range of 700 kilometers (435 miles). The vehicle supports the following weaponry (manned or RCWS): 7.62 and 12.7mm machine guns or a 40mm grenade launcher.
By the end of the year, the Polish MoD is expected to provide detailed technical specifications for the four competing teams. Vehicles will be produced in Poland, and the first units are to be delivered to the Polish military two years after contract award.
Joakim Kasper Oestergaard is Forecast International’s AeroWeb and PowerWeb Webmaster and European Editor. In 2008, he came up with the idea for what would eventually evolve into AeroWeb. Mr. Oestergaard is an expert in aerospace & defense market intelligence, fuel efficiency in civil aviation, defense spending and defense programs. He has an affiliation with Terma Aerostructures A/S in Denmark – a leading manufacturer of composite and metal aerostructures for the F-35 Lightning II. Mr. Oestergaard has a Master’s Degree in Finance and International Business from the Aarhus School of Business – Aarhus University in Denmark.