Polish army to receive 116 additional M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks

On Wednesday, January 4, at the 1st Warsaw Armored Brigade barracks in Wesoła, Mariusz Błaszczak, Deputy Prime Minister-Minister of Polish National Defense, approved a contract for the supply of 116 M1A1 Abrams tanks for the Polish Army.
Follow Army Recognition on Google News at this link

Army Recognition Global Defense and Security news
Official ceremony for the signing of a contract for an additional 116 Abrams for the Polish Army. (Picture source: Maciej Nędzyński/CO MON)

‘’Last year, we signed an agreement on the acquisition of 250 Abrams tanks in the most modern version for the Polish Army. These tanks will reach us at the end of 2024, so at the end of next year. We are conducting negotiations on this matter, but the tanks for which I approved the contracts today will already be in the equipment of the Polish Army this year. And this is our great achievement that, already this year, the first units of these tanks will equip the Polish Army. The entire process of equipping the Polish Army with 116 Abrams tanks will end next year’’, said the vice president of the Council of Ministers.

The subject of the contract concluded with the American side is the supply of 116 M1A1 Abrams tanks, which will be adapted to the requirements of the Polish Armed Forces, together with the accompanying equipment, including 12 M88A2 HERCULES armored recovery vehicles, 8 M1074 Joint Assault Bridges, 6 M577 command vehicles and 26 NG SECM workshops on Humvee chassis, as well as a training and logistics package.

The contract is the first stage of the project, which also includes a significant number of modern types of live ammunition, as well as training ammunition, in accordance with the maximum scope of the contract approved by the US Congress. The above orders, including sub-caliber armor-piercing ammunition or multi-purpose programmable ammunition, will be implemented successively.

The Deputy Prime Minister emphasized that Polish-American cooperation has reached the stage "in which we can talk about very measurable details of strengthening Polish-American relations, as evidenced by the approved agreement".

These tanks will go right here, to Wesoła. The tanks will go to the east of our country, so as to effectively deter the aggressor. (…) Thank you for our Polish-American cooperation, the effect of which is the fact that Polish tankers are already training on Abrams tanks, they are training at the training ground in Biedrusko, so they will be able to smoothly take over their duties regarding the use of Abrams tanks that will be delivered here to the 1st Warsaw Armored Brigade. Thank you very much for this close Polish-American military cooperation. Thank you for the exercises that take place almost constantly between Polish and American troops’’, added the head of the Ministry of National Defense.

The total value of the contract is approx. USD 1.4 billion net, of which nearly USD 200 million is financed by the American side under the aid funds granted to Poland, while deliveries of tanks and other military equipment will start this year and will be completed by the end of 2024.

‘’The contract provides for the acquisition of 116 Abrams tanks and the acquisition of technical vehicles. The entire support package is also guaranteed in this contract. We are negotiating a second agreement accompanying this agreement, which concerns the acquisition of ammunition by the Polish Army in large quantities. This is a task that still lies ahead of us, but due to the fact that I really wanted Abrams tanks to be delivered to the Polish Army as soon as possible, we decided to divide this process into two parts. Now we are still negotiating the issue of ammunition, but I can assure you that we are on the right track to quickly finalize this second agreement as well. (…) It can be said directly that a battalion consisting of Abrams tanks will be equipped with the Polish Army this year. Soldiers who are already trained to take up their duties on the march, this is our joint success, Polish-American success’’, noted Deputy Prime Minister M. Błaszczak.

The logistics package includes a stock of spare and consumable parts as well as equipment for tank maintenance, as well as mobile container armament repair workshops and diagnostic devices. The training package includes comprehensive training for instructors, crews and technical staff. The deputy prime minister also emphasized that the contract also includes a support package for the Abrams. 

Army Recognition Global Defense and Security news
On December 23, 2022, in Biedrusko, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Mariusz Błaszczak, Deputy Prime Minister-Minister of National Defense, met with crews training on Abrams tanks and soldiers of the Land Forces Training Center (Picture source: Polish Government)


Lets us recall that, in April 2021, the head of the Ministry of National Defense signed a contract for the supply of 250 third-generation M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams tanks withdrawn from US Marine Corps service, along with accompanying equipment, including M88A2 HERCULES vehicles and M1074 Joint Assault Bridges, as well as training and logistics packages, and ammunition supplies. The value of the contract is USD 4.75 billion. Deliveries are scheduled to be completed in 2026. In July 2021, the Polish Defense ministry informed the public about this large purchase.

Abrams tanks will be delivered mainly to the 18th Mechanized Division. In the training conducted by the American side under the so-called Abrams Academy, a total of over 150 soldiers took part in 2022. It includes technical staff, instructors and crews who are direct users of the equipment. The American side provided training personnel. Abrams Academy’s activity is going on in 2023.

The head of the Ministry of National Defence said: ‘’The aim of Abrams tanks with Polish crews is to defend the eastern part of our country - so that the aggressor, the rulers of the Kremlin who are trying to rebuild the empire of evil, would not dare attack Poland. This is the best method of deterring the aggressor – thanks to the increasing number of the Polish Armed Forces’ soldiers, by creating new military units and new tactical units, such as the modernly equipped 18th "Iron” Division.

In addition to the package of 250 M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams tanks approved by the US Congress, Poland will also receive 116 Abrams in an earlier configuration - M1A1, with a communication and battlefield management system compatible with the M1A2 SEPv3 variant. Additional tanks are donated by the American side as the result of the ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine and the transfer of armament donated by Poland, which made it necessary to restore the combat potential of military equipment and increase the combat capabilities of the land forces.

While visiting the training ground in Biedrusko, Deputy Prime Minister emphasized that the cooperation between the Polish and American land forces is in an extremely well state. The Command of the U.S. Army’s V Corps is permanently based in Poland. It was on the basis of this cooperation that the Abrams Academy was created.

‘’We consistently strengthen the Polish Armed Forces. The 18th Division will have Abrams next year. The 16th Mechanized Division, responsible for the security of the north-eastern part of our country, is already equipped with South Korean K2 tanks. All units of the Polish Army are, and will be, consistently equipped with modern weapons in order to deter the aggressor - to prove that Poland is safe. (…) Poland's position on the international arena is increasing. These are all consequences of the Polish authorities’ efforts. Since 2015, both the President of the Republic of Poland, Mr. Andrzej Duda, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and the Polish government, have been consistently strengthening Poland's position on the international arena by strengthening the Polish Armed Forces, by strengthening units and equipping them with modern weapons’’, said M. Blaszczak, adding ‘’Our historical experience is that, regardless of whether Russia was white or red, or is now Putin's, it always committed war crimes. The best response to all these threats is to strengthen the Polish Armed Forces by increasing the number of troops, by equipping the Polish units with modern weapons and by Allied cooperation within NATO.

‘’We cannot scrimp on the armed forces, we must make a huge effort - which we are making - so that the Polish forces will soon become the strongest in all of Europe’’, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said during the meeting.

Army Recognition Global Defense and Security news
Polish crew training on Abrams at the Abrams Academy (Picture source: Twitter account of The Dead District, October 19, 2022)