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The Invisible Tank – The evolution of armored fighting vehicles in full view.

PL-01 is a Polish armored direct support vehicle build by OBRUM with support from BAE Systems, based on the Swedish CV90120-T light tank. This concept vehicle was first unveiled on September 2’nd 2013 at the International Defense Industry Exhibition MSPO in Kielce, PL. SOKKA was appointed by OBRUM to design the PL-01 hull. The final stealth-like design has since been internationally recognized and even replicated.

The PL-01 carries the same layout of most modern main battle tanks. Inside the hull are the commander, the gunner, and the cockpit in the front, the unmanned turret is mounted in the rear. There is room for up to four soldiers in a rear compartment. A modular ceramic-aramid shell, designed to provide protection meeting NATO’s standard STANAG 4569 Annex A at level 5+, across the front portions of the hull and turret act as armor.  Additional panels, meant to fully protect against a range of projectiles, are mounted on both the turret and the hull. The hull itself has been designed to a standard in accordance with appendix B parts 4a and 4b of STANAG 4569, which shields the vehicle from landmines and IEDs. The entire vehicle is set on a Combat Vehicle 90 chassis and covered with a radiation-absorbent material which allows the tank to be virtually invisible to infrared sensors.

Looking at performance, the PL-01 sports a 940 horsepower (700 kW) diesel engine coupled with a torque converter, automatic gearbox, and driving assistance mechanism. The PL-01 uses this power to cross ditches, span trenches up to 2.6 meters (8ft 6in) wide, and climb 30-degree inclines. On the fly, it has the ability to cross water obstacles 1.5 meters (4ft 11in) deep, and with time to prepare, it can even ford a depth of 5 meters (16 ft). For suspension, active seven wheel driveshaft damping allows the PL-01 to reach 50 km/h (31 mph) over rough terrain, with a maximum speed of 70 km/h (43 mph) on paved roads, and a maximum range of 500 kilometers (310 mi).

Did you know?

—  The PL-01 was featured in Armoured Warefare and World of Tanks (WoT), a massively popular multiplayer, multi-platform, online game which has garnered multiple gaming awards for Belarusian developer Wargaming.

—  The PL-01’s “Invisible Tank” video on TomoNews US channel has become a hit on YouTube, with over 6 million views.



2013 - 2014


March 8, 2014


Automotive design