Rosomak: modern Polish APC in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Rosomak: modern Polish APC in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Юрій Збанацький Юрій Збанацький
APC Armed Forces of Ukraine Armored vehicles IFV Neighbors Poland Ukraine World

The Polish Rosomak wheeled armored personnel carriers entered service with 44th Separate Mechanized Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

This is evidenced by the photos published on social media from the military of this brigade.

Today, Militarnyi tells what kind of vehicle it is and what version it has. And also about its prospects in the Ukrainian Armed Forces.


Polish KTO (Kołowy Transporter Opancerzony – wheeled armored personnel carrier) Rosomak was created for the Polish army under contract in December 2002. Under this agreement, the Finnish company had to localize in Poland the production of up to 690 vehicles of the Patria AMV APC licensed version both in the IFV version and in the armored personnel carrier. And in 2013, the parties signed a contract to supply another 307 Rosomak vehicles by the end of 2019.

Rosomak SA produces armored vehicles, which is part of the Polish state arms concern Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ). The design of the machine is based on the support frame.

For the Polish army, Rosomak is produced in various versions. The vehicle has also become the base for the Rak 120mm self-propelled mortar.

Rosomak has a classic layout for modern infantry fighting vehicles: the engine compartment and the driving compartment, which is located in the bow, the fighting compartment – in the middle of the hull, and the squad compartment – in the stern. The vehicle is operated by a crew of three servicemen.

The driver’s station of the combat vehicle is equipped with a display, which receives an image from two front cameras and one rear. The front camera has a night vision mode. The armored vehicle carries eight fully equipped soldiers. They sit on the sides facing each other in the squad compartment. Landing and debussing is conducted through doors aft or through two hatches in the roof. The Polish armored vehicle has a 480 hp engine, which accelerates it up to 100 km/h, and afloat – up to 10 km/h. Operating range – 800 km. The APC has a wheel formula 8×8 with independent suspension, which allows it to change the clearance of the vehicle from + 200 mm to -250 mm.

The armor protects against 14.5mm bullets in front and 7.62mm on the sides. The protection consists of two layers: the main steel armor with thickness of 8 mm and the external one, which is installed on the main armor. They are separated by several millimeters of cavity, which can be filled with foam to increase the floatability of the vehicle while forcing water obstacles. On the basis of the armored personnel carrier, several options for various purposes have been developed, which come into service with the Polish army.

The main version for the Polish army can be considered a Rosomak-M1 armored vehicle, which is equipped with a Hitfist-30P turret by the Italian company OTO Melara. The production of this turret is also established in Poland. This two-seater turret has an ATK Mk44 Bushmaster II 30mm automatic gun and an UKM-2000C 7.62mm machine gun. The hull of the turret is made of aluminum alloy with armor plates installed outside and the use of composite materials. Because of this, the weight of the turret without equipment is 2300 kg. The turret with equipment, two crew members and ammunition weighs 2850 kg. Its height is only 59.5 cm. A certain number of vehicles with Hitfist-30P turrets are armed with Spike-LR anti-tank missiles.

The Polish modification of the turret is equipped with the Kolsman DNRS-288 fire control system. It allows it to act both day and night thanks to the second generation TILDE FC (Galileo Avionica) thermal imager and laser rangefinder. The turret is equipped with six 902A ZM Dezamet 81 mm smoke grenade launchers. According to the set of weapons, this version of the Rosomak APC can be considered a wheeled IFV.

ZSSW-30 remote weapon station

The IFV version of the Rosomak also can be equipped with the new Polish ZSSW-30 RWS. Last year, the Polish Ministry of Defense ordered the delivery of the first 70 such remote weapon stations, the contract value was zł1.7 billion. The modules are produced by the Polish company Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW).

ZSSW-30 is armed with a Bushmaster Mk 44/S 30mm gun with 200 rounds and an UKM-2000C 7.62mm machine gun with 400 rounds, as well as with a twin Spike-LR anti-tank missile launcher. The RWS has a Polish-made PCO GOD-1 Iris commander’s panoramic sight and a PCO GOC-1 Nike gunner’s sight. The design of the remote weapon station is adapted for the installation of additional armor.

The new remote weapon stations are based on the Polish fire control system, working with the “hunter-killer” capability, which gives the best ability to effectively destroy enemy armored vehicles. The system was developed by a consortium of companies Huta Stalowa Wola and WB Electronics.

Before the start of a serial production, a batch of American Bushmaster Mk 44/S 30mm automatic guns from Northrop Grumman was ordered.

Rosomak Long

By the end of 2023, the Polish government have to sign a contract for the supply of 250 to 400 Rosomak to the armed forces in an updated L (long) extended version. This modification has a 60 cm longer body compared to the basic version of the vehicle, which has a length of 7.8 meters. Thus, the length of the body of the new vehicle will reach 8.4 meters.

This modernization increases the floatability of the armored vehicle and will allow the installation of more powerful weapons. It is planned that most Rosomak Long will be equipped with ZSSW-30 RWS.

In addition, these vehicles will receive a more powerful 610 hp Scania DC13 engine, and the new size of the equipment allows it to increase its fuel tanks by 30-40 percent. Therefore, although the vehicle becomes heavier, its range will also increase. Also on the APC there are new hydraulic propellers of the water jet engine, a new driver’s hatch, new rear-view mirrors and a splash wing.

Other variants of Rosomak

The Rosomak-S wheeled APC is designed to transport two portable launchers of the Spike LR anti-tank missile system, eight missiles to them and crew of these complexes. The technical specs of the armored vehicle are similar to the basic version of the Rosomak armored vehicle, taking into account the possibility of overcoming water obstacles.

Бронетранспортер Rosomak-S

It should be noted that Spike-LR ATGM has been produced under a license in Poland since 2004. This system can destroy armored targets at a range of up to 4 thousand meters.

The Rosomak-WEM armored ambulance vehicle is designed to carry wounded from the battlefield, provide first aid, including dressing wounds and injuries, and support the basic human vital functions.

The crew consists of a vehicle commander, a medical NCO, two paramedics, and a driver. Rosomak WEM can carry three wounded soldiers on stretchers in a prone position and an additional four in a seated position.

This vehicle differs from the basic version of the armored personnel carrier by the raised upper part of the hull above the compartment in the aft part of the APC, which is adapted to ensure the possibility of rapid evacuation of wounded and the convenience of the work of medical personnel. This compartment houses emergency medical equipment, stretcher areas, and seating. The vehicle has the ability to conduct surveillance and self-defense.

Rosomak-WRT reconnaissance vehicle is designed to ensure the actions of the mechanized infantry units of the Polish army, which are armed with Rosomak armored personnel carriers.

The crew of Rosomak-WRT includes the commander, driver, two mechanics and, if necessary, a paramedic.

Design and special equipment of the Polish reconnaissance vehicle allows it to carry out diagnostics, extraction and evacuation of damaged equipment, maintenance and other tasks of emergency rescue and technical reconnaissance. The vehicle can also conduct observations and provide its own self-defense, as it is equipped with a remote weapon station with a 7.62mm machine gun.

In addition, Rosomak-WRT equipment includes a remote controlled boom with a lifting capacity of 1.3 tons, diagnostic, service, evacuation and rescue equipment, on-board generator, welding machines, a set for rapid electrical installation and mechanical repair, day and night cameras for observation.

The Rosomak-WSRiD multi-sensor reconnaissance and surveillance system and the Rosomak-AWD artillery command vehicle and the Rosomak-WD battalion-level mobile command post are also based on Rosomak.

In addition, for the participation of the Polish military in the NATO mission in Afghanistan on the basis of Rosomak, several options for various purposes were developed. The Rosomak-М1М version received additional armor and lost the ability to swim, and this vehicle was also equipped with a system for protecting against improvised explosive devices.

The М2 and М3 versions, which were also used in Afghanistan, were equipped with additional armor, anti-missile grilles and an OSS-D turret with a Mk-19 40mm grenade launcher or 12.7mm machine gun instead of a turret.

Rak mortar

A Rak 120mm self-propelled mortar is also based on the Rosomak wheeled chassis. It is designed to destroy enemy’s manpower, armored targets and fortifications. It is capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to 12 km and has an ammunition of 46 mortar rounds.The crew consists of four soldiers.

Delivery of Rak self-propelled mortars to the Polish army began after signing in 2016 the first contract for 8 company sets. Additional mortars were ordered with deliveries scheduled for 2022-2024.

Rosomak for Ukrainian Armed Forces

In April 2923, Militarnyi reported that Ukraine would receive 200 Rosomak armored personnel carriers from Poland.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that at first the Ukrainian army would receive 100 vehicles, and then another 100 Rosomak APCs.

“As for Rosomak armored personnel carriers, there are 200 vehicles. Now 100 and 100 afterwards. Also self-propelled mortars, additional missiles, MiGs,” Zelensky said.

Presumably, some of the vehicles will be transferred directly from the Polish army so that the Ukrainian military will begin to master them as soon as possible. Due to this, these vehicles will quickly get to the battlefield. This equipment is very necessary for offensive actions of the Defense Forces of Ukraine against the Russian invaders.

The purchase of Polish Rosomak armored vehicles for Ukraine will be jointly paid by the European Union and the United States.

It can be assumed that the new Rosomak APCs for Ukraine will be armed with remote weapon stations from the Australian company Electro Optic Systems.

This may be evidenced by the initial contract for 100 units and the expansion of the contract for another 50 RWS.

In early April 2023, the Ukrainian state enterprise SpetsTechnoExport signed a contract with EOS Defense Systems for the supply of 100 unnamed “heavy remote weapon stations,” including spare parts and related services in the amount of about $80 million. The contract provides for the supply of products within 2023-2024 years.

The second contract, reported at the end of April, refers to US $41 million. It involves the execution of the order for 2023-2024 years.

However, this is only an assumption: there is currently no information from open sources that would confirm such thoughts.

From reports in the media, it became known that the 44th Separate Mechanized Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has already received Rosomak APCs, which are equipped with Hitfist-30P turrets with a 30mm automatic gun and a 7.62mm machine gun. Currently, part of the brigade is in Poland for training, but later they should return to Ukraine with new equipment.

Such armored personnel carriers have allegedly been spotted in Ukraine before, but it is still unknown which military unit they belong to.

As for the vehicles based on Rosomak, we can also recall statements by Volodymyr Zelensky and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki at a joint press conference in early April 2023. That time they said that Ukraine and Poland agreed to supply the Armed Forces of Ukraine with Rak 120mm self-propelled mortars.

Колісні самохідні міномети Rak

According to the Polish prime minister, the point was about supplying the Ukrainian army with three company sets of Polish Rak 120mm self-propelled mortars on a wheeled chassis.

It is worth noting that in the Polish army the company set consists of 8 self-propelled mortars and 4 fire control vehicles.

Самохідний міномет Rak на навчаннях "Ryś-21". Вересень 2021. Фото: Міноборони Польщі

Thus, we are talking about supplying Ukraine with a total of 24 units of Rak self-propelled mortars, excluding fire control vehicles.

Summing up

Currently, there are no reports that Rosomak armored vehicles participated in hostilities against the Russian invasion army. Therefore, it is difficult to talk about their effectiveness in combat conditions. Much depends on the training of the crews and the specific combat situation at the frontline.

However, an armored personnel carrier that protects soldiers from bullets and shrapnel with its armor, can move quickly, and can also support the actions of infantry with fire from an automatic gun or heavy machine gun or an automatic grenade launcher will never hurt Ukrainian Defense Forces as its part.

Modern armored vehicles with high-quality means of surveillance, detection and the ability to conduct combat and movement at night should help Ukrainian soldiers in confronting the Russian invaders.

APC Armed Forces of Ukraine Armored vehicles IFV Neighbors Poland Ukraine World


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