MBDA and the Polish defense enterprise PGZ have unveiled at MSPO 2019 two configurations of tracked tank destroyers armed with Brimstone precision strike missiles. The initiative comes in response to Poland’s requirement for a Tank Destroyer able to counter massed armor formations on its Eastern border with Russia. The Polish Army currently operates BRDM-2 wheeled vehicles carrying four 9P133 Malyutka (Sagger) remotely controlled anti-tank missiles.
These vehicle and missiles are both considered obsolete, as the engage targets at short range (up to three kilometers) and require continuous guidance, making the launch platform extremely vulnerable. The tank destroyer destined to replace these assets would be able to engage targets beyond line-of-sight and at extended range, thus covering a larger area with improved survivability and combat effectiveness. HSW and Obrum have both announced plans to compete for this opportunity.
The two variants introduced with the recent announcement include tracked vehicles carrying 12-24 missiles in self-contained launch modules carrying multiple missiles. One platform is the BWP-1, based on a locally modernized BMP-1 Puma modernized infantry fighting vehicle. This vehicle carries one launch module containing two stacks of six missiles (for a total of 12 missiles). The launcher is elevated before launch, providing optimal position for line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight engagement.
Another platform provided by HSW SA and Obrun is the K9 chassis used with the Krab self-propelled howitzer. This larger vehicle accommodates three launch modules containing eight missiles each (for a total 24 missile count). The missiles rely on targeting data relayed to the vehicle over standard secure military networks, fully interoperable with NATO. The Brimstone supports long-range, all-weather performance, against stationary and moving targets. It has the ability to defeat targets defended by active protection systems (APS), by using salvo-firing.
Other candidates for the tank-destroyer program at MSPO2019:
According to MBDA, the flexible integration and ease of integration with the existing Polish targeting systems make multiple types of Polish platforms available for the Brimstone integration in various configurations. These including platforms from WZM SA, HSW SA, and Obrum.
“Pairing the combat-proven MBDA Brimstone missile with the diverse range of current and future Polish platforms provides the ability to deliver rapid military capability for Poland and for wider markets, whilst strengthening our co-operation with PGZ Group on missiles.” Adrian Monks, MBDA Sales Director in Poland, said. On that occasion, PGZ Companies and MBDA have signed a statement of co-operation to confirm readiness to co-operate on offering this solution to Poland and export markets. Under the agreement, MBDAs is ready to transfer Brimstone missile technology and know-how to Poland, with MESKO SA to be responsible for missile production.
According to Monks, Brimstone’s flexible platform approach provides armed forces users with a “one missile, multiple platform” capability, for surface launch, fast jet, remotely piloted air systems (RPAS), attack helicopter, land, and maritime platforms, all utilizing the same missile.
Widely used in recent combat by coalition forces in Syria, Libya, and Afghanistan, Brimstone has proved to deliver effective, surgical strikes in time and collateral critical missions.