Poland confirms acquisition of 250 US M1A2 SEPV V3 main battle tanks

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.
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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)

In July 2021, the Polish Minister of National Defence Mariusz Błaszczak has announced a plan to acquire M1A2 Abrams System Enhancement Program version 3 (SEPv3), the latest configuration of the US main battle tank (MBT), to equip four armored battalions of the Polish army.

Previously, Army Recognition has reported that Poland would like to procure 250 M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams MBTs, armored recovery vehicles, command vehicles, mobile bridge systems, and unspecified medical evacuation vehicles.

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.

The main armament of M1A2 SEP V3 includes one 120 mm smoothbore M256 cannon. The tank is also equipped with a Low Profile (LP) CROW (Common Remotely Operated Weapon System) mounted on the roof of the turret. The M1A2 SEP V3 is able to fire the M829E4 (soon to be type-classified as the M829A4) fifth-generation kinetic-energy anti-tank (AT) round. This new round provides heavy-armor defeat capability at extended ranges. It uses a depleted-uranium penetrator and anti-armor design advancements to defeat threat targets equipped with AERA (Advanced Explosive Reactive Armor) and APS (Active Protection Systems).

The layout of the M1A2 SEP V3 is similar to the M1A2 MBT with the driver position at the front in the center, the turret is in the middle of the hull and the powerpack at the rear. The tank is fitted with a new armor package inside the turret and the hull to provide better survivability against multiple IED threats.