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47 American M1A1 Abrams tanks arrived in Poland in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jun29,2024

47 American M1A1 Abrams tanks arrived in Poland in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine

The General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces announced the completion of the delivery of 116 M1A1 Abrams tanks, a year and a half after signing the contract with Agencja Uzbrojenia (Polish Arms Agency). The 1st Warsaw Armored Brigade, which celebrates its 30th anniversary on the same day, along with the 18th Mechanized Division based in Siedlce, eastern Poland, are the main recipients of this latest tranche of 47 M1A1 Abrams tanks and 26 M1152A1B2 workshops , installed on the HMMWV chassis.

The delivery process began on January 4, 2023, when Poland's Agencja Uzbrojenia signed a contract with the US. The first shipment arrived on June 28, 2023, consisting of 14 M1A1 tanks and 3 M88A2 Hercules recovery vehicles. The next batch arrived on November 21, 2023, which coincided with Tank Service Day in Poland, and included 26 M1A1 Abrams tanks and 9 M88A2 Hercules recovery vehicles. The third tranche, consisting of 29 M1A1 tanks, arrived on January 6, 2024. These deliveries have now concluded with the final tranche, which will equip the Polish Armed Forces with the battle-proven M1A1 Abrams main battle tank, called the M1A1FEP.

The acquisition was part of a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) approved by the US State Department on December 6, 2022, which followed Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The deal, worth approximately US$3.75 billion, included a number of units of various military equipment. Along with 116 M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks, the sale included:

  • 12 M88A2 Hercules combat vehicles;
  • 8 M1110 amphibious assault vehicles;
  • 6 M577A3 command vehicles;
  • 26 M1152A1 High Mobility Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV);
  • 26 M1279A1 Joint Light Tactical (JLTV).

In addition, the package included 116 M2 machine guns in .50 caliber and 232 M240 machine guns in 7.62 mm caliber.

Various 120-mm cartridges for training and combat purposes were also on sale. Additional FMS components included advanced repair systems, next-generation shop floor maintenance shelters, gas turbines, communications equipment, GPS receivers, munitions, spare and repair parts, special tools and test equipment, technical manuals, new equipment training, and on-site support services. logistical support and implementation of the program.

The General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces also confirmed that this was the last delivery of M1A1 Abrams tanks before the transition to M1A2 SEP v.3 main battle tanks. Poland has ordered 250 units of M1A2 SEP v.3, the first batch is ready for transport. The contract for these tanks was signed on April 5, 2022, after the US State Department approved another foreign military sale worth approximately $6.0 billion. This package includes 250 M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams tanks, 250 AN/VLQ-12 CREW Duke anti-mine systems, 26 M88A2 Hercules combat vehicles and 17 M1110 combined assault bridges. It also includes 276 M2 .50 caliber machine guns, 500 7.62mm M240C machine guns and 15 AGT1500 gas turbine engines.

In response to the perceived threat from Russia and Belarus, Poland, together with Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, proposed to build a fortified line of defense along their borders. These countries sent a letter to the EU with a request for financial support for the project, the cost of which is estimated at 2.5 billion euros. The initiative aims to protect against both military and hybrid threats, including disinformation, cyberattacks and migrant movements. This proposal will be discussed at the upcoming EU summit in Brussels, with a focus on coordinated efforts with NATO. Poland has already begun to strengthen its border protection, citing security concerns related to migration and the presence of Russian troops in Belarus.

Over the past five years, the Polish Armed Forces have significantly expanded and modernized. The number of active duty military personnel has increased from approximately 110,000 to approximately 150,000, including the 30,000 military Territorial Defense Force established in 2017. The country purchased American M1A2 Abrams tanks, F-35 fighter jets, Korean K2 Black Panther tanks and K9 howitzers. This expansion is due to regional security issues, particularly with regard to tensions with Russia and full-scale tensions in Ukraine. Poland's navy and air force are also being modernized with new submarines, frigates and air defense systems.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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