Poland PL-01 tank
Modern military equipment is becoming more futuristic, and at times this appearance reflects technological features. The intricate contours of the surfaces of hulls or aircraft are a way to reduce their radar signature. It is another thing when the exterior refinements are a product of fashion in the defense industry, in the pursuit of trends without reference to actual needs. At times neither the functionality of technical means nor their combat effectiveness matter. Image is everything - this seems to be the basic principle of some of the current developers 'concepts' in the military sphere.
One such "glamorous" example is Poland's PL-01 tank - the creation of the local arms company OBRUM and the British company BAE Systems - established on the basis of the chassis of the Swedish armored Strf 90. The international composition of the developer added to the authority of machine.
The International Defense Industry Exhibition MSPO 2013 took place in early September 2013 in the Polish city of Kielce. The main novelty shown to the public before the exhibition was a new development. A consortium of Polish defense companies decided to show to a wide audience the PL-01 tank before the opening of the exhibition.
The Poles announced the commencement of work on a new project of a national tank back in mid-February 2013. Then it was reported that companies OBRUM, Bumar and Huta Stalowa Wola had begun the development of a promising tank for the Polish Armed Forces. Later, in May 2013, a cooperation agreement with the corporation BAE Systems was signed.
At first the information about the tank was quite scarce. It was reported that it would have a combat weight of approximately 45-50 tons, the turret was to be unmanned, and the ammunition was to be placed in an insulated compartment similar to that of Abrams tanks. The pictures of the tank resembled those of another Polish development, Anders, and, apparently the tank was to represent its revised version.
After the first presentation in February 2013, the long-term Polish tank was forgotten, and reemerged in the news only after its life-size model was built and shown at the exhibition. The model brought to the MSPO 2013 was similar to that demonstrated in February. However, a new concept had a number of differences. Polish tank builders had likely taken into account the peculiarities of certain technical solutions and changed the appearance of their prospective tank to incorporate all new trends.
A concept model is one thing. One can invent and manufacture anything of plywood and plastic. Its real embodiment in metal is quite another story. By 2015 the new Polish tank PL-01 was still far from practical application, although its main features have now been identified and are likely to remain unchanged in the future. Previous developments of a Polish tank Anders were widely used in the project. At some point Anders was considered an advanced development and was meant to radically improve the state of the Polish armored forces.
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