The PL-01 prototype of stealth light tank, developed by Polish Defence Company Obrum and Britain’s BAE Systems that uses stealth technology thanks to thermal painting camouflage to blend in with its surroundings could enter in service in 2018.
At MSPO 2013 (International Defense Industry Exhibition in Poland), the Polish Defence Company Obrum (a subdivision of Polish Defence Holding) has unveiled a new concept of direct fire support combat vehicle, the PL-01. The new vehicle is created at the OBRUM sp. z o.o. Research and Development Centre of Mechanical Devices in Gliwice.
The goal of the PL-01 project is to create a light combat vehicle with the mobility and the fire power of the latest generation of main battle tank. A modern main battle tank has a total weight from 50 to 60 tonnes while the PL-01 has a weight of 35 tons. A real advantage to be quickly deploys by military transport aircraft.
The layout of the PL-01 is very similar to a standard main battle tank with the driver at the front of the hull, with an unmanned turret mounted at the rear. The PL-01 has been designed with lot of angles to reduce its radar signature. It used also a cooled wafers mounted on the hull and turret to increase its stealth technology camouflage. These technologies allow the PL-01 to match the infrared signature of its environment to confuse the tracking systems of weapons that use infrared.
The PL-01 is also fitted with external infrared sensors to create an infrared suitable camouflage on the field. The tank can also create effects to its temperature controlled wafers to look like a car or another common object, an effective countermeasure against radar, infrared and visual signature detection equipment.
The PL-01 is fitted with an unmanned turret which can be armed with a 105 mm or 120mm caliber cannon adapted to fire with classic ammunitions or anti-tank guided missiles. Loading is carried out by using an autoloader unit located in the rear part of the turret, with 16 rounds ready to fire in the turret autoloader and 29 rounds stored in the chassis.