The CEO of Polish Armaments Group (PGZ), Sebastian Chwalek, stated that the first four Badger Infantry Fighting Vehicles could be delivered to the Polish Armed Forces by the end of 2022. The trial batch will undergo further testing of the IFV combat capabilities. PGZ states that it could begin full-scale production of Badger by 2023. This may mark the beginning of an end to the BMP-1 IFV domination in the Polish Armed Forces.
At the end of March, the CEO of PGZ was a guest on Polskie Radio Program I. In the interview, he said that the Badger platform is very versatile and could potentially be in service for up to 30 years. Chwalek also stated:
“We will probably be able to deliver the first four vehicles for testing to the armed forces […]. By the next year we will be ready for a mass production of this advanced IFV.”
The Badger IFV is equipped with the latest ZSSW-30 turret, which was also tested with the wheeled Polish wheeled IFV, the Wolverine. 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.
In February this year the manufacturer of Badger, Huta Stalowa Wola, entered the contest for a new Slovak IFV. The question remains whether HSW will be able to deliver its product to both customers at the same time as an estimated 1,200 BMP-1s await replacement within the Polish Armed Forces.