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02 Sep 13. PDH and BAE Systems unveil new direct support vehicle for Poland. A much-awaited Polish combat vehicle concept was unveiled at the MSPO 2013 defence exhibition. The new PL-O1 CONCEPT “direct support vehicle” is being developed as a joint project between Polish companies led by Polish Defence Holding (PDH) and an international strategic partner, BAE Systems. The PL-O1 CONCEPT vehicle launched at MSPO is equipped with representative systems which can be flexibly configured to match customer requirements. These different configurations can be shown in virtual reality via a “3D Cave” projector system. Complying with the requirements of the Polish Army is PDH’s priority. The business will cooperate with industry leaders to ensure the supply of the latest systems for the project, which is being carried out as part of the Polish Army equipment upgrade programme, worth tens of billions of Polish zlotys and scheduled for completion by 2022. PL-O1 CONCEPT, constructed by Obrum, part of PDH, is the first phase of a programme aimed at the development of a new family of tracked vehicles based on a Universal Tracked Platform for Polish Armed Forces. A prototype, like the concept vehicle to be built at Gliwice, is to be developed by 2016 with delivery of the first series-manufacture vehicles scheduled for 2018. The agreement with strategic partner BAE Systems aims to allow the exchange of skills and technologies within the project framework and increase its export potential. PL-O1 CONCEPT is designed to combat enemy vehicles threatening friendly assets, such as armoured personnel carriers, which may not be equipped with the relevant firepower to neutralize such a threat. A crew of three is located in a “safe capsule” within the hull (the turret is unmanned), and the vehicle makes simultaneous use of both of active and passive protection measures such as:
* an active vehicle protection system
* multilayer composite ceramic-aramid armour
* a mine- and IED-resistant hull structure
* additional padding protecting the crew
* new seats, limiting the blast effects of conventional and improvised explosive devices (IED, EFP)
The use of a high-capacity drive unit in a power-pack arrangement, combined with relatively low weight and dimensions of the vehicle provides its high mobility. The vehicle may use steel tracks with rubber pads or full rubber tracking, effectively reducing the ground pressure and allowing for high-speed road and off-road movement. The vehicle is capable of fording broad water obstacles. Due to the use of a modular unmanned turret with 105mm and 120mm gun options able to fire both standard and anti-tank guided ammunition, the vehicle will have considerable firepower and engagement capabilities unique within Polish Armed Forces. The main gun will be fed by an autoloader located in the rear part of the turret. The vehicle will also be armed with a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun and a remotely controlled armament module, allowing the mounting of a 7.62mm machine gun, 12.7mm large-calibre gun or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher. The use of a wide range of optoelectronic systems allowing for an uninterrupted observation of the vehicle’s surroundings and detection of potential threats both in day and night conditions increases the crew’s situational awareness. The driver’s day/night cameras allow for driving both forward and in reverse. The commander and gunner’s 360 degree system will also allow day and night observation as well as area surveillance and automatic detection and tracking of moving objects which might constitute a potential threat to the vehicle. Commander and gunner sights are both a choice between Cassidian EOTS or PDH subsidiary PCO’s ZMO-PS-2. The ‘real’ concept vehicle has Cassidian – both can be shown on the VR 3D ‘cave’ model. The v

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