The Polish Armaments Agency’s agreement with the PGZ-OTTOKAR consortium to begin production of the Ottokar-Brzoza tank destroyer system represents a key element of the Poland’s ongoing efforts to modernise the capabilities of its land forces, according to GlobalData.
The Ottokar-Brzoza programme has the potential to significantly impact Poland’s defense industrial base, according to the findings of GlobalData. The PGZ-OTTOKAR consortium, comprised of key domestic firms, Polish Armaments Group (PGZ), Mesko, Huta Stawola Wola and Wojskowe Zakłady Elektroniczne (WZE), has also signed a cooperation agreement with MBDA UK to facilitate integration of the latter’s Brimstone anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) on the new Ottokar-Brzoza platform.
Tristan Sauer, land domain analyst at GlobalData, commented: “Continued Russian geopolitical belligerence has put one of NATO’s most active member states on a war footing, with the Polish Ministry of National Defence having enacted several key procurement initiatives in recent months to replace ageing Soviet-era platforms and enhance interoperability with NATO partners.”
Building industrial capacity
A recent GlobdalData report, ‘Poland Defense Market Size and Trends, Budget Allocation, Regulations, Key Acquisitions, Competitive Landscape and Forecast, 2022-2027’, highlights that one of the main hurdles faced by the Polish defence industry is the lack of ammunition and missile production capacity.
Sauer continued: “This agreement will enable Poland’s defense industry to exchange invaluable technical expertise and refine manufacturing processes through a strong partnership with a leading European defense prime. Consequently, the Polish government remains keen to establish production facilities for Brimstone in-country, while MBDA will also benefit by reinforcing its supply chain through the cultivation of business relationships with new industrial partners based in a key NATO member state.”
Current plans anticipate the first Ottokar-Brzoza tank destroyer prototypes will roll off the production line in 2023, with the first units to be sent to Poland’s 14th Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment guarding the strategic border with Lithuania, colloquially known as the Suwalki Gap.
Sauer added: “The Polish Armaments Agency plans to achieve initial operational capability by 2025 as geopolitical tensions with neighboring Russia have boosted both the defense budget and political willpower to achieve a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s military and industrial capabilities.”