Poland’s government has announced the signing of a deal to buy the Ottokar Brzoza tank destroyer for the country’s armed forces. The contract was signed by the Polish Armaments Agency and the PGZ-OTTOKAR consortium, which includes Huta Stalowa Wola, Mesko and Wojskowe Zak?ady Elektroniczne. In addition, such an agreement covers the entire cycle from production to delivery and further modernization of weapons. The first prototypes will be ready next year. After signing the contract, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz B?aszczak emphasized that the first prototypes of tank destroyers will be ready next year and will go to the 14th Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment stationed in the Suwa?ki Gap area near Russia’s Kaliningrad region.
Ottokar-Brzoza programme, aimed at acquisition of a new tank destroyer for the Polish military, has just entered another phase. The Polish Ministry of Defence is going to acquire tank destroyers equipped with anti-tank guided missiles that would provide the platform in question with an ability to neutralize the threats beyond the line of sight. Due to the new weapons, the units of the Polish army will be prepared for the realities of the modern combat environment. In addition, he noted that the war in Ukraine was a factor in the development of the Ottokar Brzoza program and led to the acceleration of the re-equipment of the Polish army with anti-tank weapons. The Ottokar Brzoza program was announced in 2019.
The Ottokar-Brzoza tank destroyers will be produced by a consortium of Polish state-owned arms contractors, led by the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ). The tank hunters will be equipped with UK-made Brimstone anti-tank guided missiles. Nine companies of the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ) have concluded an agreement with MBDA UK regarding co-operation in the tank destroyer segment. The agreement will allow for the design and production of this class vehicles with the use of MBDA UK Brimstone anti-tank guided missiles. Brimstone is a ground or air-launched ground attack missile developed by MBDA UK for Britain’s Royal Air Force. It was originally intended for “fire-and-forget” use against mass formations of enemy armour, using a millimetre wave (mmW) active radar homing seeker to ensure accuracy even against moving targets.
Implementation of the Ottokar-Brzoza programme, the codename of which is derived from the name of the founder of the artillery element of the Polish Legions, Brig. general Ottokar Brzoza-Brzezina, is to ensure a qualitative leap for the Polish tank-destroyer units. It is a foundation that could be used to restore the 14th Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment in Suwa?ki, that would be founded on the current 14th Squadron. The above unit is still operating the obsolete 9P133 vehicles with Malyutka launchers using the BRDM-2 platform as the base vehicle. It would undoubtedly be difficult to imagine establishment of a new unit without new equipment being provided as reintroduction of the 9P133 platforms that had been withdrawn earlier would be far from being rational.