Polish Tur vehicles might replace Hummers in Afghanistan

October 17th, 2007  
Venom PL

Topic: Polish Tur vehicles might replace Hummers in Afghanistan

Polish Tur vehicles might replace Hummers in Afghanistan

by Marcin Górka


Polish Armed Forces want to replace hummers by new vehicles next year. The tender will be announced during the next two weeks and its favorite is Polish Tur.

Coffins on wheels - this is what Polish soldiers say about 120 HMMWVs, which Polish army leases from Americans. Even after the their floors have been up-armored they cannot guarantee survival of soldiers after IED explosion.

"We need an equipment that really protects the soldiers and belongs to us, because we cannot rely only on the help of allies. Polish Armed Forces will never have its own strategic air force but we must have a well equipped battalion for the missions abroad" - says Jarosław Rybak, a MoD spokesman.

"Hummer has not been designed as protection against mines and the Americans also want to have better vehicles. We need a vehicle that is light, strong, capable to carry soldiers between the bases and - first of all - resistant to IEDs" - adds Maj. Sławomir Lewandowski from Land Forces Command.

12 companies - from Poland, Israel, RSA, Switzerland, Austria and USA - want to compete in the tender, which will be announced in the next two weeks. According to experts, the most interesting proposals are: RG-31 Mk5 of BAE Systems from RSA (a vehicle with a construction that is definitely anti-mine, used by Canadians in Afghanistan, bought by US army), Eagle IV manufactured by MOWAG from Switzerland (the biggest and the strongest from all proposals, used by Danish army) and Italian DVD LMV (used by British and Italian armies, very good for Polish needs - according to experts).

"These vehicles could satisfy our requirements. But I do not think that their producers would be able to satisfy the condition of fast execution of the contract" - thinks Grzegorz Hołdanowicz, and expert on military technology.

In such situation a favorite is the Polish Tur, manufactured by AMZ Kutno, a private company. This vehicle has been officially presented during the MSPO Fair in Kielce last August. It has awoken some interest of the commander of Land Forces.

"It has some faults; for example, it cannot be used in offensive operations, but only for ferrying soldiers and possibly for their defense. And it is rather small" - explains Grzegorz Hołdanowicz.

But Tur is strong (almost 3-liters engine with 166 HP), and - first of all - much better armored than the Hummer. It's V-shaped floor disperses explosions outside, rather than throwing the vehicle up. Tur is able to survive an explosion of 6 kg TNT, while the newest HMMWV - only 4.5 kg of TNT.

"We guarantee that after such explosion the vehicle might not be able to travel, it might not escape the battle ground on its own, it will be irreversibly damaged, but the soldiers will survive" - says Tomasz Wróbel, a technical director of AMZ Kutno. "Besides, we are able to provide good service and we will produce 120 such vehicles next year."

"We wish that the equipment we will buy is made by our manufacturers" - stresses Maj. Lewandowski. "Tur might win, of course we must test in the field, best in Afghanistan. We will then ask our soldiers for their opinion. The V-shape floor guarantees that an explosion will not penetrate it."

AMZ Kutno have made three Tur vehicles so far. They are being tested on training grounds. The company negotiates with the army sending them to Afghanistan for the trials. It also has a significant advantage over other offers - is is cheaper. Its unofficial price is 200 thousand euros, while the Eagle IV costs 400 thousands, RG-31 Mk5 - 300 thousands and LMV in a so-called base version - 250 thousands euros.
Source: Gazeta Wyborcza, http://serwisy.gazeta.pl/swiat/1,34292,4555044.html
Translated by MZ
October 18th, 2007  
Team Infidel
good article. thanks.

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