First Polish army tank crews arrive in US for training on M1A2 Abrams MBT


According to a tweet from Damian Ratka, the first Polish soldiers just went to the US, in Idaho, to be trained in the use of the M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams main battle tanks. These men are future instructors who will later train tank crews in Poland. Let us notice that, once the Abrams is inducted, Poland will then operate four – if not five! - different models of main Battle tank.
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U.S. soldiers assigned to Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team (3ABCT), 1st Cavalry Division, stage the first set of new M1A2C (SEP v.3) Abrams Tanks at Fort Hood, Texas, July 21, 2020. (Picture source U.S. DoD)


According to a Tweet published by the Polish Ministry of Defense on October 8, 2021, Poland confirms its plan to acquire 250 M1A2 SEP V3 main battle tanks from the United States and that will enter into service with the 18th Mechanized Division of the Polish army.. In fact, the Abrams is the third existing design offered in the Wilk programme, alongside the Leopard 2 and the South Korean K2. The Wilk programme is aimed at selecting a replacement for the T-72/PT-91 MBTs. A spokesman for the Armament Inspectorate, Major Krzysztof Płatek, told Defence 24 that the “analytical-conceptual phase for the task pertaining to the acquisition of the new generation MBTs, namely the WILK programme, has not been accomplished yet. (...) The analytical-conceptual phase covers a broad range of existing or prospective designs from all around the world”. Płatek added that “talks carried out during the market analysis involved the following entities: Ośrodek Badawczo-Rozwojowy Urządzeń Mechanicznych „OBRUM” Sp. z o.o., Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Gmbh & Co. KG, represented by the WZM S.A. facility based in Poznań, Rheinmetall Defence, represented by Rheinmetall Defence Polska Sp. z o.o., Hyundai Rotem Co., represented by H.Cegielski Poznań S.A., the US Army, BAE Systems Hägglunds AB, and General Dynamics European Land Systems”.

Currently, the Polish army has a total of 142 Leopard 2A4 that will be upgraded to 2PL version 105 Leopard 2A5, 232 PT-91 Twardy, a Polish version of the Soviet-made T-72 and 127 T-72A/T-72M1, including 257 tanks in store. The Polish army includes one armored cavalry division and 3 Mechanized divisions with the 12th, the 16th and 18th armored cavalry divisions.   

The M1A2 SEPV V3 also called M1A2C is a modernized version of the M1A2 SEPV v2 main battle tank that benefits from a number of upgrades in the areas of survivability, maintainability, full efficiency and network capability. In October 2015, the M1A2 SP V3 was presented for the first time at AUSA defense exhibition in Washington D.C. In September 2018, it was announced that M1A2 SEPv3 and M1A2 SEPv4 variants were being renamed to M1A2C and M1A2D, The change was outlined in an August 15 memo from Maj.Gen. Brian Cummings. Soldiers with 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, were the first to receive the U.S. Army’s newest version of the M1 Abrams Tank, the M1A2C (SEP v.3), Fort Hood, Texas, July 20, 2020. In December 2020, General Dynamics Land Systems Inc., Sterling Heights, Michigan, was awarded a $4,620,000,000 fixed-price-incentive contract to produce Abrams M1A2 SEP v3 main battle tanks.


 

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