This year's MSPO is history. Of course, our editorial staff had to attend it. You will learn about our impressions from the following report.
The MSPO 2019 fair had an abundance of many important moments, including the official offer inquiry to the US DoD regarding the purchase of C-130 Hercules aircraft and Javelin missile launchers, as well as the signing 69 contracts between the Armament Inspectorate of the Ministry of National Defense and the Warsaw company PCO, worth 4 million PLN, concerning the delivery of optoelectronic equipment for the Polish Armed Forces.
The strongest accent of the MSPO 2019 fair had undoubtedly been the presence of USA manufacturers and their National Exhibition. In our opinion, the most thrilling was the one promoting Lockheed Martin F35 Stealth multirole fighter which was the American offer in the tender for a new support aircraft for the Polish Air Force.
Our chief editor couldn't help but take the opportunity for taking a photo with the Lightning II - unfortunately it was only a mock-up.
Equally impressive were the M1A1 Abrams tanks and the CH-47F Chinook helicopters, and also the AH-64E Apache helicopters, that are well-known in Kielce, offered to Poland by Boeing as part of the "Kruk" (Crow) program.
The strength of the Polish armor was represented by the Leopard 2A5 and the PT91 tanks, the Wheeled Armored Vehicle "Rosomak" (Wolverine) and the Borsuk (Badger) Amphibious Infantry Fighting prototype.
So how does the Borsuk looks like 5 years after the start of its developement? Since 2017, there is a full-size model with prototype features, made of metal, that is undergoing tests. This consist of, among other things, traction tests, the results of which are constantly taken into account when improving the vehicle's chassis.
Borsuk has also underwent buoyancy tests, both within the pools of the research center (tightness, balance and stability) and in the open water, exceeding the pre-assumed performance. According to the defense24.pl portal: "The year 2020 is intended for qualification tests and preparation of the Product Technical Documentation for serial production. Starting from the end of 2021, deliveries of serial production Borsuk vehicles in the "light "or" floating" version are very likely."
The two leading Polish small arms manufacturers were also present at the MSPO.
ZM Tarnów, in addition to well-known Alex, Bor and Tor rifles, have once again presented semi-automatic sniper rifles (SKW) in calibers 7.62 × 51 mm (.308 Winchester) and 8.6 × 70 mm (.338 Lapua Magnum).
"The weapon has been designed in a classic layout and is fully in line with the current trends. The semi-automatic sniper rifle works on the principle of using the energy of gunpowder gases discharged through the side port in the barrel. The energy is transferred to the slide by a short stroke of a gas piston. The bolt is locked by a rotating motion. The weapon has a modular design, very high ergonomics, has an easily replaceable barrel and a folding stock. The rifles are dedicated to uniformed services, but they can also be offered on the civil market. "
This is an interesting design, so badly needed by the Polish Army to replace old SVD rifles.
FB Radom, presented its flagship product, i.e. the MSBS GROT rifle, in versions with different barrel lengths and original colors.
According to our interlocutors, those original colors are an experiment of FB in using the Cerakote coating on their products. At the stand, you could also look at the GROT with UTM ammunition inserts.
A variant of the GROT rifle chambered for the 7.62x51mm NATO round also looked interesting. It is undoubtedly a competition for the SKW from ZM Tarnów. The rifle is equipped with, among other things, with an adjustable lightweight stock and an MLOK system front.
Will any of the above-described sniper rifles find its way into the hands of Polish soldiers, time will tell. If so, Poland would enter (this time maybe ON time) into the global trends of arming infantry teams with sniper rifles chambered for a larger caliber than 5.56x45 mm.
The RAGUN pistol, which is another name for the service VIS 100, also got pink. It is just being issued to soldiers, but not the pink ones of course.
The Cenzin company, a member of PGZ, and the HK weapons distributor for the Polish market, have also prepared an extended stand.
Visitors could take a look at the HK 417 and 416 rifles in various variants and colors
MG5 light machine gun
or the GMG automatic grenade launcher.
Cenzin is also a distributor of Kel-tec KSG shotguns - a unique weapon because of the large capacity of the magazine for a pump action type weapon.
And last but not least, the stand that we particularly liked, because of our love of pick-ups.
Steeler is the largest manufacturer of certified roll bars in Poland. It also offers splash shields, winches and mounting plates, pick-up canopies, liners and all kinds of universal accessories.
The company cooperates with such brands as Toyota Motor Poland, Suzuki Motor Poland, Mitsubishi Motors Poland, Kia Motors Polska, Ford Polska, Subaru Import Polska, Isuzu Automotive Polska. The company offers canopy systems for various services, which they also exhibited at the MSPO.
It is impossible to describe all the stands and booths but, as in the years past, the WMASG editorial team considers the trip to Kielce MSPO to be a success.