Cloak Of Invisibility

PL-01 Concept BAE Systems
The PL-01 concept MBT clearly displays the vehicle’s low observable characteristics. (BAE Systems)

Poland’s OBRUM has been collaborating with BAE Systems on designing a Main Battle Tank (MBT) with innovative approaches to enhancing survivability.

The PL-01 will be both harder to detect through use of new ‘stealth’ technology, and harder to hit thanks to impressive mobility and agility. The design uses the BAE Systems CV-90 tracked infantry combat vehicle chassis and incorporates a sleek unmanned turret with an auto-loaded 120mm gun. The smooth turret lines reduce the vehicle’s radar signature, with composite materials and BAE Systems’ Adaptiv camouflage also used to alter the vehicle’s infrared signature.

The vehicle’s 35-45 tonne combat weight enhances agility and acceleration providing a high power to weight ratio. An MBT prototype was shown in 2016 and the presentation of a more-developed PL-01 is highly anticipated. What is not yet clear is the impact of Poland’s Ministry of National Defence’s May 2017 call to industry for next-generation MBT candidates on the direction of future Polish MBT acquisition, and the prospects for the PL-01 design therein.

by Stephen W. Miller