The president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, announced during a press conference with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, that his country would like to become a partner in the MGCS project, which will lead to the development of the next generation European main battle tank (MBT).
Poland would like to involve a number of local defence companies, subsidiaries of the Polish Armaments Group (Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa, PGZ) holding as well as those privately owned, in the MGCS project. In result, these entities would benefit by gaining knowledge and experience necessary to evolve and enhance their technical and industrial capabilities.
Poland’s ambition to become a partner in the MGCS project is strictly related to the country’s need of modernizing its large, but mostly obsolete fleet of MBTs. Currently, the Polish Army operates around 750 main battle tanks, including 105 Leopard 2A5s, 142 Leopard 2A4s, 233 PT-91s and approx. 270 T-72M1s.
The two latter platforms were designed during the Cold War and no longer meet the requirements of the modern battlefield in terms of firepower, survivability or crew protection. Therefore, their replacement is an imminent and urgent requirement. Also the Leopard 2A4 MBTs, which soon will be upgraded to the 2PL standard, won’t constitute an effective and a combat worthy platform for many years and require to be replaced by a more modern and capable vehicle (Leo2PL tests completed, 2018-06-17).