We interviewed selected foreign manufacturers at MSPO 2023
At this year's 31st International Defence Industry Exhibition MSPO in Kielce, Poland, the Polish Army, which has recently undergone a massive modernisation and acquired a large amount of new equipment, had the biggest presence. For example, the new South Korean K2 PL tank or the American M1A1 Abrams tank intended for the Polish Army were on display. Poland is only the second NATO member to incorporate Abrams tanks into its arsenal. One entire pavilion and a large outdoor area have been dedicated to the Polish Army.
Video: Interviews with representatives of the Polish Army and companies Hyundai Rotem (K2 Black Panther), Rafael (TROPHY), Patria (Patria AMV) / CZ DEFENCE
Among the foreign exhibitors we stopped by the Finnish company Patria, which presented their amphibious wheeled armoured personnel carrier Patria AMV (Armoured Modular Vehicle) in APC version. However, various cannon or mortar weapons can also be mounted on the Patria AMV platform.
The self-propelled mortar on the wheeled platform of the Patria AMV can be one of the solutions for our army, which has already defined the need for 62 self-propelled mortars of 120 mm calibre capable of indirect, semi-direct and direct fire in 2018.
At the booth of the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, we then learned more detailed information about the Trophy active protection system (read trofi), which protects a tank or other armored vehicle from anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and armor-piercing missiles. It is the Trophy or EuroTrophy protection system that is part of the new Leopard 2 A8 tank, which the Czech Republic has also expressed interest in, as in May this year the government instructed the Minister of Defence Jana Černochová to negotiate the possibility of joining the purchase of new Leopard 2 A8 tanks, which Germany is planning to purchase for the Bundeswehr. The Czech Republic could thus join the future users of the proven Leopard 2 tank, the only production tank in Europe.
The purpose of the purchase of the new tanks is to rearm the 7th Brigade Task Force with a modern MBT (main battle tank) type, and thus to ensure an increase in the operational capabilities of the Czech Army's ground forces, especially within the capabilities of mechanised troops, both on the territory of the Czech Republic and in foreign operations. The aim of the rearmament is also to fulfil the NATO requirement for the construction of a heavy brigade by 2027 according to Capability Targets 2021.
In addition to the possible acquisition of the aforementioned new German Leopard 2 A8 tanks for the Czech Armed Forces, the modern South Korean K2 Black Panther tank is also theoretically in play, which the Polish army now has in its arsenal under the name K2 PL. So we were interested in what capabilities and advantages this tank has.
The MSPO International Defence Industry Exhibition in Kielce, Poland, was not only a comprehensive presentation of military equipment, but it was also the venue for business negotiations and the conclusion of memoranda of understanding or contracts between global manufacturers and defence sector bodies. In terms of size and prestige, MSPO ranks third among all European exhibitions, after the Eurosatory in Paris and the DSEI in London.