Poland Signs Contract For MBDA Brimstone-Equipped Tank Destroyers
Poland is equipping itself with a new generation of tank destroyers armed with the UK-developed MBDA Brimstone anti-armor missile.
Warsaw’s Ottokar Brzoza program will use wheeled 4x4 vehicles equipped with launchers for 4-8 Brimstone missiles. The lightly armored vehicles will be able to stand off and engage tanks, using the Brimstone’s grid-square targeting mode that allows operators to mark a target grid and then launch the Brimstones to attack armored vehicles within that area.
Ukraine, which has taken delivery of some old UK stocks of Brimstone, has had success using the weapon in this way.
A contract to proceed with the program was signed on July 20. The agreed timeline will see the first tank-destroyer batteries be available for frontline use in three years or earlier, according to Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak. “This is a very important project, and its implementation will significantly strengthen the Polish armed forces,” Błaszczak says.
The systems would first be used to equip a Polish Army unit in Suwałki, a Polish city that sits between Russia and Kaliningrad, which is geographically separated from Russia by Lithuania and Poland.
Błaszczak describes the Brimstone, which is typically considered to be an air-to-ground weapon as it is integrated on the Eurofighter Typhoon, as a “high-quality, high-class” missile.
As well as the missile-firing vehicles, the program will also acquire vehicles for command and control, reconnaissance, ammunition transport, medical evacuation and for use as a mobile workshop to support the battery.
Industry partners in the program include Polish Armaments Group (PGZ) and a consortium that includes Huta Stalowa Wola SA, MESKO SA and Polish defense electronics supplier WZE SA.
The announcement comes as Poland accelerates several key defense procurements after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Warsaw has recently signed off on the purchase of Leonardo AW149 battlefield support helicopters, a contract worth $1.82 billion. MBDA missiles will also equip the country’s new Narew short-range air defense system, which was approved in April.