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PL-01

Prototype light tank

PL-01 tank

The stealthy PL-01 concept tank might enter service with the Polish Army in 2018

 
 
Entered service ?
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 35 t
Length (gun forward) ~ 8 m
Hull length 7 m
Width 3.8 m
Height 2.8 m
Armament
Main gun 120-mm
ATGW ?
Machine guns 2 x 7.62-mm
Elevation range - 10 to + 20 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun ~ 40 rounds
Machine guns ?
Mobility
Engine diesel
Engine power ~ 1 000 hp
Maximum road speed 70 km/h
Range 500 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 1 m
Trench 2.6 m
Fording 1.5 m
Fording (with preparation) 5 m

 

   The PL-01 concept tank is being jointly developed by Obrum of Poland and BAE Systems of the United Kingdom. Development commenced in 2013. Mock up of the new tank was first publicly revealed during the same year. Currently this tank is only a technology demonstrator. A fully functional prototype should be completed in 2016. This tank is aimed to meet a possible requirement of the Polish Army. Some sources report that this tank might enter service in 2018. Currently Polish Army operate about 900 main battle tanks, including PT-91 Twardy and Leopard 2. Also there are about 400 T-72 MBTs in storage. Once in production the PL-01 will be also proposed for export customers.

   It is worth noting that in 2010 Anders prototype light tank was revealed in Poland. A whole host of armored vehicles are being developed on the Anders platform. These include infantry fighting vehicle, fire support vehicle, anti-tank missile carrier and other. The PL-01 can be also seen as uparmored version of the Anders.

   The PL-01 is based on the Swedish CV90120-T light tank. The PL-01 also shares some similarities with the Anders light tank, which is also based on the same platform. Weight of the future PL-01 tank is claimed to to be 35 t. Other sources claim that production tank will weight about 45-50 t.

   The new Polish tank will have modular protection with multi-layer ceramic-aramid armor. Damaged add-on armor modules can be easily replaced in field conditions. Also newer modules can be fitted once more advanced armor is available. It is claimed that front armor with add-on armor will provide protection against 30- or 40-mm armor-piercing rounds. All-round protection will be against 14.5-mm armor-piercing rounds. Such level of protection makes this vehicle closer to modern light tanks than main battle tanks. Hull will have a high level of protection against landmines and IEDs. Vehicle will withstand explosions equivalent to 10 kg of TNT anywhere under the hull. The new tank will be also fitted with integrated active protection system. Automatic fire suppression and NBC protection system will be fitted as standard.

   The new tank has unmanned turret. Ammunition is stored in a separate compartment with blow-out panels. The new tank will be armed with a 120-mm gun, completed with an autoloader. This gun will fire all standard NATO 120-mm tank ammunition. It is claimed that this tank will be capable of launching anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary rounds. About 40 rounds are planned to be carried for the main gun and 12-16 of them will be ready to use. It is unknown if it will be possible to replenish autoloader on the battlefield. Tank with a 105-mm gun will be proposed for export customers.

   There is a coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun. Also there is a remotely controlled weapon station, armed with another 7.62-mm machine gun. Alternatively RCWS can be fitted with 12.7-mm machine gun or 40-mm automatic grenade launcher.

   Advanced fire control system will have a hunter-killer capability. The tank will be also fitted with a battlefield management system.

   The PL-01 uses stealth technology. It has a thermal camouflage which makes it harder to detect with thermal sensors. It is claimed that the whole vehicle will be covered with radio wave absorbent material. However it is unknown if angular shapes of this tank are intended to reduce radar cross-section or just to give a more futuristic look.

   This tank will have a crew of three, including commander, gunner and driver. Commander and gunner enter and leave the vehicle via a rear hatch. Ammunition is also loaded via the rear hatch. This tank has a capability to carry up to four additional soldiers in the hull in place of ammunition.

   The PL-01 is based on the chassis of the Swedish CV90 IFV which has been around for a while and recommended itself well. Engine compartment is located at the front. It will be powered by a diesel engine developing about 1 000 hp, possibly of German origin. Engine will be mated to an automatic transmission. It is claimed that the PL-01 will have a cross-country speed of 50 km/h. The PL-01 can be fitted with a deep wading kit.

 

Video of the PL-01 concept tank

 

 
PL-01 tank

PL-01 tank

PL-01 tank

PL-01 tank

PL-01 tank


 
PL-01 tank

PL-01 tank

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