BAE to partner with Polish firm as ground combat vehicle demand heats up

By Evan Ochsner / November 21, 2022 at 12:28 PM

BAE is forming a "strategic relationship" with a Polish defense company to support the production of tank recovery systems and other combat vehicles, the company announced Monday.

The deal with Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa, a large conglomerate of defense contractors owned by the Polish government, will center on BAE-made Abrams tank recovery vehicles, but also on the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, a new armored personnel carrier that is one of the Army’s modernization priorities.

The announcement comes after the U.S. agreed to ship $6 billion in arms to Poland earlier this year in a package that included 26 M88A2 Hercules combat recovery vehicles, along with 250 Abrams tanks.

According to Monday’s announcement, “the main area of cooperation” between BAE and PGZ will focus on the M88A2 recovery vehicle. The release said the recovery vehicles are a “key part of the M1A2 Abrams tank procurement program” in Poland.

“Today’s agreement underscores an important milestone in our developing industrial cooperation partnership with PGZ and demonstrates our commitment to delivering critical capabilities to support Poland’s defense modernization efforts,” Jeremy Tondreault, president of BAE Systems’ Platforms & Services sector said. “The M88 program now gives us the opportunity to deliver localization of sustainment services to Poland.”

The additional cooperation on AMPV comes a month after Army leaders said the service has support from Congress to buy 200 new armored personnel carriers in a one-for-one replacement of legacy troop carriers it sent to Ukraine. The service plans to buy 200 units of the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, one of its modernization systems, to replace M113 troop carriers it sent to Ukraine out of Army stockpiles. The Army reached an agreement with BAE to produce the AMPV at a higher frequency in order to meet demand.

Defense companies have for months signaled their anticipation of growing demand for ground vehicles spurred by the conflict in Ukraine. General Dynamics, maker of the Abrams, said in its most recent earnings call that the company had begun to see a demand boost from Poland.