In 1999, construction was started on two riverine gunboats, as part of a joint effort within the Baltic Front meant to help police the upper Vistula River. Local Polish forces were responsible for getting the small shipyard at Tczew back online, while the Soviets provided the necessary building materials. Both armies would then take possession of one craft each upon completion. Over the course of approximately 12 months, salvaged hulks were refitted, then heavily modified with armor, weaponry, and other assets. Work was still underway during the summer thus they did not play a role in the fighting against either NATO or the uprising in Gdansk. It wasn't until early Autumn that the gunboats, also referred to as monitors, became operational.

Painted green, the gunboats are approximately 10m x 3m and the hull is "boxy" in appearance apart from a wedged bow. External features include a BMP-1 turret placed slightly forward of amidships and a small pilothouse close to the stern. The latter is equipped with a siren, spotlights, and communication equipment. Additional firepower is in the form of a NSV machine gun positioned behind the pilothouse to engage targets at the rear. Furthermore, along its low-riding sides, sections of chain-link fencing have been mounted a foot or two away from the hull as standoff armor. Most internal space within the hold is reserved for the engine and fuel, though a squad of infantry (or equivalent cargo) can be accommodated for short periods. The gunboats, though well armed and armored, are notoriously slow.

On November 12th, the Polish gunboat was sabotaged at its berth in Tczew. Its current condition is unknown though the damage sustained at the time was extensive.

The location of the Soviet gunboat is believed to be at Grudziądz.

Back to Notable Vehicles
Back to Main