Poland signs 114M contract for 24 BAOBAB-K mine-laying systems
Warsaw, Poland, July 6, 2023 – Poland signed a contract valued at approximately EUR 114 million for the procurement of 24 units of the local-made BAOBAB-K truck-mounted mine-laying system. According to the agreement, the delivery of these 24 systems, along with logistical and training packages, is scheduled between 2026 and 2028.
The contract, signed by Deputy Prime Minister Mariusz Błaszczak on June 14, 2023, represents a significant step in enhancing the engineering support capabilities of the Polish Armed Forces. The signing ceremony took place at Huta Stalowa Wola S.A., reflecting Poland’s dedication to enhancing national security and supporting the growth of the domestic defense industry.
The BAOBAB-K is a truck-mounted scatterable mine-laying system, like the Volcano and the Zemledeliye. It was developed by Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) S.A., in collaboration with Jelcz, Belma, WB Group, and the Military Institute of Engineering Technology. These renowned Polish companies have come together to create a prototype that offers capabilities for the automatic deployment of barrier minefields with varying sizes, densities, and self-destruction times. The Baobab-K system is built on the Jelcz P662D.43 truck chassis, known for its reliability, mobility, and protection, making it suitable for modern defense operations.
The Baobab-K system originated from the initial prototype of the Baobab scattered mine laying platform introduced in September 2013. Subsequently, HSW and its collaborators were awarded a contract by the Polish army procurement agency in December 2018 to develop a specific prototype of the Baobab-K system. This collaborative effort combines the expertise of each company to create a technologically advanced and dependable mine-laying solution.
The Baobab-K system utilizes the Jelcz P662D.43 8×8 truck chassis, renowned for its mobility and durability. This chassis could also accommodates both American HIMARS or South Korean Chunmoo K239 rocket launcher systems. Measuring approximately 11 meters in length, 2.6 meters in width, and 3.4 meters in height (including the launcher units), this chassis provides a stable platform for the Baobab-K system. With a combat weight of 31,700 kg, a maximum road speed of 85 km/h, and an off-road range of approximately 580 km, it enables operations in diverse terrains and conditions.
The system incorporates six mine launcher units mounted on turntables at the rear of the truck chassis. Each launcher unit, developed by Belma, has the capacity to carry up to twenty preloaded magazines manufactured by WB Group. These magazines can hold five anti-tank mines each, providing a total capacity of 100 mines per launcher unit. The Baobab-K system supports two types of anti-tank mines: the MN123.1 with immediate action and the MN123.2 with delayed action, allowing for adaptability to different operational requirements.
The MN-123 anti-tank mines are designed for effective penetration of armored vehicles. Equipped with Misznay-Schardin shaped charges on both faces, these mines have a reported penetration capability of up to 60 millimeters of armored protection at an offset of 0.3 meters. The mines are triggered by the passage of vehicles, ensuring reliable and targeted deployment in the designated area. The MN-123 mines feature an electronic magnetic influence fuze powered by a 6.8 V battery, incorporating three independent safety features to minimize accidental detonation risks. They also offer programmable self-destruct options, allowing for automatic deactivation after 2, 3, or 5 days.
The Baobab-K system offers automated mine-laying processes controlled through a ground control station developed by the Military Institute of Engineering Technology. Operators can program the control unit in automatic or manual mode to customize minefield parameters. In automatic mode, the onboard computer, integrated with technology from WB Group, calculates the vehicle’s speed, launcher settings, and mine launch frequency while in motion. These parameters can be recorded, visualized on digital maps, and shared through advanced communication systems, facilitating coordination with higher command units.
The Baobab-K system’s deployment capabilities allow for precise and efficient creation of minefields. It enables mines to be launched from the center line, sides, and rear of the vehicle, providing strategic flexibility. The system’s launch parameters allow for mines to be deployed at distances ranging from 30 to 90 meters, with speeds varying from 5 to 25 km/h. This versatility enables the establishment of formidable minefields up to 1,800 meters in length, all within a rapid laying time of less than 22 minutes. The reloading process, facilitated by the Belma-developed launcher units, can be completed in less than 30 minutes, ensuring quick reengagement if required.