Poland Army (Wojska LÄ…dowe) will purchase 250 M1A2 Abrams System Enhancement Package Version 3 (SEPv3) main battle tanks, adding significant firepower to deter Russia. The first M1A2 shipments are scheduled to be delivered to the Polish military as early as 2022. The contract is worth $6 billionâ€”and includes an additional logistics and training package that’s focused on infrastructure upgrades and ammunition procurements. Poland’s defense minister Mariusz BÅ‚aszczak has confirmed the country’s plans to buy Abrams.
The U.S. and allies in NATO have made reinforcing Poland and the nearby Baltic states a focal point since Russia’s 2014 military intervention in Ukraine. Since then, U.S. tanks from units rotating overseas have been a consistent presence in Poland. NATO also has a U.S.-led multinational battlegroup in Poland’s northeast, roughly 50 miles from the Russian military exclave of Kaliningrad. The addition of 250 Abrams will soon give Poland one of the most powerful tank forces in Europe.
The Polish Army is equipped with the Leopard 2A4 and Leopard 2A5 tanks the most modern Russian T-14 Armata tanks. 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 purchase is a pretty remarkable turnaround of events, considering the U.S. originally designed the M1 tank to fight Soviet and Polish forces on the battlefields of Western Europe. Once the U.S. tanks are delivered to the Polish military, they will be deployed to the country’s eastern area.
The M1A2 Abrams SEP V3 retains the layout of the M1A2 with the driver’s cab at the forward centre hull, turret in the middle and power-pack at the rear. The tank integrates joint tactical radio system (JTRS) handheld and small form fit radio to ensure network readiness and interoperation with future brigade combat teams (BCTs). The main battle tank measures 9.7m-long, 3.7m-wide and 2.4m-high, and is manned by a crew of four, including a driver, a commander, a loader and a gunner. The 73.6-ton tank has a crew of four and can go 42 miles on a road and 30 miles per hour cross-country.