MSPO 2008

The US booth with PM Soldier Weapons showcased their new M320 40mm side-opening launcher with FCU and the new underbarrel mounted 12 gauge shotgun that was the brainchild of C-More Systems founder Ira Kay as the LSS and became the XM-26.

Each year, when MSPO in Poland is announced, there is a “Lead Nation” chosen. This “Lead Nation” is responsible for setting a tone, putting their best foot forward and showcasing their products and support for the Polish defense industry and MSPO. For the meeting in 2008, Sweden was chosen, and Swedish companies were out in force on the display floor.

In 2007, there were 364 companies from 24 countries present and the US contingent represented 31companies. In 2008, there were almost 400 companies from 28 countries present, and 2009 is expected to exceed that high watermark.

MSPO has grown into the largest military show in Eastern Europe, and its prominence in the defense industry is growing every year. Along with the trade show and live demonstrations, there are several days of seminars on arms and military subjects. MSPO is fast becoming a  “Must attend” show for those in the international arms trade, and SADJ heartily recommends attending.

The Bumar Group represents most of the Polish arms manufacturers as the export group and is the sponsor of many of the booths at MSPO.  www.bumar.com

The side-shuttle styled WKM-B “NSV” 12.7mm machine gun is here adapted to the ground mount “Infantry” configuration. There are knee supports for the shooter to add to tripod platform, and a shoulder support similar to the Vinghog M2HB softmounts. www.zmt.tarnow.pl

By far one of the most interesting finds at the show was the UKM 2000D variant of the PKM. With its side folding buttstock making it more paratrooper friendly, and the fact that it is in 7.62x51mm NATO caliber were outstanding. This author tried to get a better look into the mechanism, but the staff there would not permit it. They insisted that this model utilizes not only the NATO 30 cal, it uses the standard M13 disintegrating metallic link, the same as the M60 and the M240 series use. This is a radical change from the offerings that most companies are trying in this caliber, usually requiring the end user to switch to PKM pull out non-disintegrating metallic belts. Expect a deeper report on this item. UKM2000P is the standard infantry version, UKM 2000D is the folding stock version, and UKM 2000C is the tank version. P and D versions have Picatinny style rails. www.zmt.tarnow.pl

Poland has excellent production facilities for the famous ZSU-23-2, the workhorse Anti-aircraft system from the old ComBloc. It’s been modernized with electric controls and in the KG configuration adds two GROM missiles. The old ZSU (Type) 23 (Caliber 23mm) and -2 (2 guns) carries the ZUR configuration in Poland. The “T” configuration has no missiles, but an onboard fire control system that allows for air targets and ground targets with automatic integration of ballistics for various ammunitions used.

The PM98 is a modernized version of the 1984 made PM84 closed bolt submachine gun. Top: PM-98 with open front sight, flashlight forend, and standard rate of fire. Bottom: PM-98s with 770rpm.