Polish Armaments Group (PGZ) CEO Sebastian Chwalek said the first four Badger infantry fighting vehicles could be delivered to the Polish Armed Forces by the end of 2022. The trial batch will undergo further testing combat capabilities of the IFV. PGZ says it could begin full-scale Badger production by 2023. This could mark the beginning of the end for the BMP-1 IFV’s dominance in the Polish Armed Forces.
At the end of March, the CEO of PGZ was the guest of Polskie Radio Program I. In the interview, he said the Badger platform is very versatile and could potentially be in service for up to 30 years. Chwalek also said:
“We will probably be able to deliver the first four vehicles for testing to the armed forces […]. By next year, we will be ready for mass production of this advanced IFV.
The Badger IFV is fitted with the latest ZSSW-30 turret, which has also been tested with the Polish wheeled IFV, the Wolverine. The new remote turret armament consists of an ATK-44 30mm UKM-2000C chain gun and two Spike-LR ATGMs placed in a container on the side of the turret. Additionally, a Nike PCO GOC-1 optronic system provides the crew with a thermal vision sight, laser range finder and external light sensor.
In February this year, Badger manufacturer Huta Stalowa Wola entered the competition for a new Slovak IVC. The question remains whether HSW will be able to deliver its product to both customers at the same time, as around 1,200 BMP-1s are waiting to be replaced in the Polish Armed Forces.