It will have the third largest army in NATO, behind the USA and Turkey

The huge arms purchases that Poland prepares to defend itself from Russia

A month ago, the Russian State Duma threatened Poland with being invaded next after Ukraine. Poland has decided to react.

Russian State Duma threatens Poland to be the next attacked after Ukraine
K2 Black Panther: this is the advanced main battle tank that Poland is considering buying

Poland will dedicate 3% of its GDP to defense in 2023

This Monday, the Polish Minister of Defense, Mariusz Błaszczak, starred in an important conference in which he confirmed that Poland will take an important step to improve its defense. Although Poland is currently one of the NATO countries that invests the most in defense (it spends 2.23% of its GDP for these purposes, only surpassed by the 3.59% of the US and 2.38% of Greece) , Błaszczak announced that Polish defense spending will reach 2.4% of GDP by the end of 2022, reaching 3% of GDP in 2023, including the introduction of an Armed Forces Support Fund, in order to “obtain financing for the modernization of the Polish Armed Forces, such as the possibility of issuing bonds.”

The Polish Army will be the third largest army in NATO, with 300,000 soldiers

Likewise, Błaszczak has announced the creation of two new divisions in the Polish Army, “located along the Vistula River, in the central part of Poland.” This is the same strategic line on which Poland defeated Bolshevik Russia in 1920 during the Polish-Soviet War. Currently, the Polish Army Ground Forces has four divisions (three of them mechanized and one armored cavalry), as well as three separate brigades (one aviation, one airborne and one air cavalry) and four separate regiments dedicated to reconnaissance missions.

Błaszczak has pointed out that “our goal is to create a real deterrence potential, which we can build by increasing the size of the Polish Armed Forces to 300,000 soldiers. According to Global Firepower, the Polish Army currently has 120,000 soldiers, in addition to 32,500 reservists in the Territorial Defense Forces. It will be quite a challenge for Poland to increase these figures and, above all, properly equip 300,000 soldiers. With the goal set by Błaszczak, Poland would have the third largest army in NATO after the US and Turkey, and larger than Ukraine’s at the start of the Russian invasion.

Poland’s purchases: tanks, howitzers, IFVs, rocket launchers, fighters and helicopters

One of the most interesting aspects of the Błaszczak conference concerns arms purchases. These are the purchases announced yesterday by the Polish Ministry of Defense and those also indicated by other sources:

  • 500 M-142 HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, with a range of 300 km. This would make Poland the world’s largest operator of this artillery system. So far, Lockheed Martin has made 414 units in total. “Poland must become an artillery power,” Błaszczak said referring to this purchase.
  • 6 MIM-104 Patriot long-range surface-to-air missile batteries. Each Patriot missile battery is made up of 6 launchers, making 36 launchers in total.
  • 250 M-1A2 SEP v3 Abrams tanks. Let us remember that the United States already authorized its sale to Poland in February.
  • 180 K2 Black Panther tanks. Błaszczak has not specified the number, but recently said that they would serve to replace the T-72. Poland had 590 of these tanks until it started to deliver a part of them to Ukraine. The figure of 180 was published last week by a Ukrainian media specializing in defense issues.
  • 588 BWP Borsuk infantry fighting vehicles. It is an amphibious vehicle manufactured in Poland and is under development. It will replace the old BWP-1s of Soviet origin and will equip 10 mechanized battalions, Defence24.com.com reported in February.
  • 341 KTO Rosomak infantry fighting vehicles with ZSSW-30 remote turrets. Błaszczak has specifically mentioned this vehicle, but without specifying the units that will be acquired. The figure was published by Defence24.com.com in October 2021.
  • South Korean infantry fighting vehicles. Błaszczak has not indicated the type or number, but it is probably the K21.
  • Self-propelled howitzers. Błaszczak has not indicated its type or number, but it is probably the AHS Krab. In 2014, Poland bought 120 Krabs, which combine the South Korean ATP K21 chassis with a British AS-90M Braveheart turret. Poland has donated 18 to Ukraine and a few days ago it was announced that the Ukrainian Army will buy 54 more Krabs from Poland.
  • 32 F-35A Lightning II stealth fighters. The purchase of these aircraft was formalized in 2020 and the first deliveries are scheduled for 2024.
  • 32 AgustaWestland AW149 helicopters, to be manufactured in Poland by PZL Świdnik. The helicopters will be of three variants: combat support and advanced training, command and reconnaissance.
  • 48 KAI T-50 Golden Eagle light fighters, manufactured in South Korea and that will serve to replace the already obsolete MiG-29, according to a South Korean media announcement a few days ago.
  • 24 Bayraktar TB2 mid-sized drones. This is a purchase that Poland already ordered in May 2021. These drones have proven to be very effective for the Ukrainian forces.

Photo: Mil.in.ua. The KAI T-50 Golden Eagle light fighter was recently shown to a Polish delegation in South Korea.

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