ZSSW-30 Remote Turret ATGM Launch Trials Successful and Declassified

The Polish Remote Turret System ZSSW-30 underwent successful winter trials back in 2020. At the end of April the Huta Stalowa Wola, manufacturer of the ZSSW-30 system, published a video from the firing range with the Spike-LR ATGM being launched from a turret pylon. The ZSSW-30 is the first Polish remote turret system designated and built domestically. The possibility of integration with Israeli-made Spike ATGM brings anti-tank capabilities that were not available to Polish APCs previously.

Polish mechanized brigades equipped with Wolverine APC solely depend on infantry-manned Spike-MR ATGM sets launched by tank-hunter teams. The Hitfist-30P turrets designed by Oto Melara and produced by Polish Bumar-Labedy Company are lacking the option to equip them with ATGM systems. This created a situation in which the APCs were defenseless against any armored threat and could not support infantry with precise strikes against enemy IFVs and other hard targets.

The new remote turret armament consists of a 30mm ATK-44 chain gun, UKM-2000C, and two Spike-LR ATGM placed in a container on the side of the turret. Additionally, a PCO GOC-1 Nike optronic system gives the crew a thermal vision sight, a laser range finder, and an external light sensor. The ATGM firing trials were one of the last in a series of tests that concludes the ZSSW-30 trials. We can expect that the Huta Stalowa Wola will begin the production process in the near future.

The conclusion of the trials means that the ZSSW-30 will soon show up on the Wolverine APCs of the Polish mechanized units but it also gives hope for the Badger IFV’s production to start. The Polish Army depends on the outdated BMP-1s equipped with Maluytka ATGMs that pose no threat to modern MBTs but they do not provide any protection for their crews, hence their nickname; ‘iron coffins’.

The emphasis on the modernization of equipment within mechanized brigades of the Polish Armed Forces expresses the political will for changes. However, the deadlines were not met by the HSW and the project remains delayed until the ZSSW-30 begins to show up on the production lines. The question remains whether the remote turret system will encounter new obstacles on its way to the combat units.