Poland has reached an agreement to buy four battalions of Abrams tanks from the United States
The first deliveries of the Abrams M1A2 tanks, which will come at a cost of $6 billion, could arrive as early as 2022, Polish officials said during a news conference. “Of course, this is a response to the challenges we face in terms of international security,” Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak told reporters, as quoted by Reuters. “Our task is to deter a potential aggressor. We all know where that aggressor is.”
According to the Polish Ministry of Defense, this tank is the latest version to enter service with the US army, enhanced by high accuracy and maneuverability. At the end of May, Turkey signed an agreement on the supply of Bayraktar unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Poland. This is the first agreement on the supply of UAVs to one of the countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Turkish President Erdogan stressed that he is proud to share this opportunity with the coalition ally.
Abrams tank is considered one of the most powerful tanks in the world. In terms of weapons, Abrams is equipped with a 120mm M256 smoothbore gun, which can fire M829 armor-piercing and M830 high-explosive anti-tank shells. In addition, the tank also has 3 machine guns: 1 Browning M250 12.7mm heavy machine gun, 1 coaxial 7.62mm M240 machine gun, and another 7.62mm M240 machine gun.
Although in service since 1980, it was not until the 1991 Gulf War that the M1 Abrams had a chance to prove its combat capabilities on the battlefield. With a weight of nearly 70 tons, Abrams is the heaviest tank in the world. However, thanks to the AGT-1500 multi-fuel turbine engine, the M1 Abrams can accelerate from 0 to 32 km/h in just 7 seconds and reach a maximum speed of nearly 70 km/h.
Recently, the US Department of Defense announced a new contract with General Dynamics Land Systems, totaling up to $4.62 billion, to upgrade existing Abrams tanks to the M1A2 SEPV3. According to the plan, the program to modernize the US main battle tank line will be completed in 2028.
As for Poland, they already has a tank force consisting of various models of the German Leopard 2, the domestically built PT-91 and the aging Soviet-era T-72, the latter of which will likely be replaced by the Abrams tanks. The tank purchase is the latest in a string of moves to muscle up the country’s military. In 2018, Poland reached a deal to spend $4.75 billion to acquire the U.S.-made Patriot missile system.
The potential acquisition would significantly expand Poland’s modern tank capacities. In the latest additions to its tank fleet, in 2002, the country secured 128 Leopard 2A4 tanks from the German military. In 2013, the Defence Ministry signed a deal to acquire a further 119 A4 and A5 tanks from Germany.