Indo-Polish Military Ties On The Upswing

New Delhi, May 18: | Updated: May 19 2003, 05:30am hrs
A number of Polish companies have begun supplying military hardware to India with the two countries reestablishing their bilateral cooperation in defence procurement. For example, PHZ Bumar of that country is supplying hardware and tank parts worth $220 million to India.

According to Polish officials, for the Russian T-72 tanks in the Indian inventory, a Warsaw-based company Przemyslowe Centrum Optyki will install 250 Drawa-T fire control systems, while deliveries of 80 WZT-3 ARVs are in progress.

The new batch of 80 WZT-3 ARVs will supplement the 44 vehicles delivered by Poland in 2001. The Indian Army designation for these is ARV-3. The first batch of 14 WZT-3 ARVs will be to Bharat Earth Movers Limiteds Kolar Gold Field facility in Karnataka soon while the rest will arrive early 2004.

The final batch of 40 WZT-3 ARVs will be assembled in India from kits supplied by ZM Bumar Labedy. There is also an option for an additional 120 WZT-3 ARVs. The new batch will be powered by Indian-built V 46.6 diesel engines developing 780hp manufactured at the Avadi Engine Facility, sources added.

Poland signed a long-term agreement on military cooperation during the visit of the Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller last year. The direct result of which was an immediate order for 46 engines for the WZT-3s.

The two countries recently signed a letter of intent (LoI) for Polish participation in a large programme for the modernisation of post-Soviet hardware, which accounts for a major part of the Indian armys equipment. It is estimated that the value of potential orders could exceed $800 million.

According to sources, the Indian Army has just started a large-scale programme for the modernisation of its tank weapons and armored vehicles.