Saturday, June 29

Poland rejoices (& everyone else scratches their heads) as Takom go into the future with the new PL-01 in 35th scale

Takom has pulled a little surprise from their collective hats with the announcement of their newest kit - not another Panzer or Russian tank  - but something completely left field, tried & untested. The New concept tank of the polish army the PL-01 is set to be made into a 35th scale kit and released over the next few months - we have a little on the tank & the kit in our preview...

A new Polish prototype with an eye to the future from Takom.

PL-01 Polish Light Tank Prototype
From:  Takom
Kit Number: #2127
1:35th scale
Due for release: Late 2019
What the hell is the PL-01 I hear you ask?
The PL-01 concept tank was jointly developed by Obrum of Poland and BAE Systems of the United Kingdom. Development commenced in 2013. Mock up of the tank was first publicly revealed during the same year. Currently this tank is only a technology demonstrator. It was planned that a fully functional prototype will be completed in 2016. This tank was aimed to meet a possible Polish Army requirement. Some sources even reported that this tank could enter service in 2018. However eventually the PL-01 never passed the prototype stage. Currently Polish Army operate around 900 main battle tanks, including indigenous PT-91 Twardy and German Leopard 2. Also there are around 400 T-72 MBTs in storage. Originally it was planned that once in production the PL-01 will be also proposed for export customers.
The PL-01 is based on the Swedish CV90120-T light tank. It also shares some similarities with the Anders light tank, which is based on the same platform. Weight of the PL-01 tank is claimed to to be 35 t. Other sources reported that production tank could weight around 45-50 t.

It was planned that the new Polish tank will have modular protection with multi-layer ceramic-aramid armour. Damaged add-on armour modules would be easily replaced in field conditions. Also newer modules could be fitted once more advanced armour is available. It is claimed that front armour with add-on armour will provide protection against 30- or 40 mm armour-piercing rounds. It was planned that all-round protection will be against 14.5 mm armour-piercing rounds. Such level of protection makes this vehicle closer to modern light tanks than true main battle tanks. It was planned that the hull will have a high level of protection against landmines and improvised explosive devices. This tank was designed to withstand explosions equivalent to 10 kg of TNT anywhere under the hull. It was planned that active protection system will be integrated. Automatic fire suppression and NBC protection system would be fitted as standard.

The new tank has an unmanned turret. Ammunition is stored in a separate compartment with blow-out panels. It was planned that the new tank will be armed with a 120 mm gun, completed with an auto-loader. This gun would be capable of firing all standard NATO 120 mm tank ammunition. It was claimed that this tank will be capable of launching anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary rounds. Around 40 rounds were planned to be carried for the main gun, including 12-16 ready-to-use rounds. Though it was unknown if it will be possible to replenish the auto-loader on the battlefield. It was planned that a tank with a 105 mm gun will be proposed for export customers.
There is a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun. Also there is a remotely controlled weapon station, armed with another 7.62 mm machine gun. Alternatively the weapon station could be fitted with 12.7 mm heavy machine gun or 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. It was planned that advanced fire control system of the tank would have a hunter-killer capability. A battlefield management system was also planned to be fitted.
The PL-01 uses stealth technology. It has a thermal camouflage which makes it harder to detect with thermal sensors. It is claimed that the whole tank will be covered with radio wave absorbent material. However it is unknown if angular shapes of this tank were intended to reduce radar cross-section or just to give a more futuristic look.
This tank has have a crew of three, including commander, gunner and driver. Commander and gunner enter and leave the vehicle via a rear hatch. Ammunition is also loaded via the rear hatch. This tank has a capability to carry up to four additional soldiers inside the hull in place of ammunition.
The PL-01 is based on the chassis of the Swedish CV90 IFV which has been around for a while and recommended itself well. Engine compartment is located at the front of the hull. It was planned that this tank will be powered by a diesel engine developing around 1 000 hp, possibly of German origin. An automatic transmission was also planned. It was claimed that the PL-01 will have a cross-country speed of 50 km/h. The PL-01 can be fitted with a deep wading kit.

This new kit from Takom

A little like the real thing, we do not know too much about Takom's new 1/35th scale version of the tank. Of course there will be the usual plastic and injection moulded plastic and movable wheels etc - but 
we do know:
- Link & length tracks will be supplied with the kit
- A jig to assemble them is included in the kit
All hatches can be posed opened or closed in this kit.
-  There iwll be four markings included in the kit - we suppose one of them will be a prototype version that you see here in the preview - the others we think will be spurious but hopefully pretty cool!

More on this kit from Takom as the information comes to light!