Today their first M1 Abrams tanks have finally arrived in Poland. It will be the first European country to operate this US-made tank.
The first batch, consisting of 14 M1A1 Abrams, has arrived in Poland by ship. The tanks have been unloaded in the port of Szczecin, in the northwest of the country. The tanks are decorated with the three-colour NATO camouflage (black, olive green and brown) already used by the other tanks of the Polish Army.
Poland has purchased a total of 116 M1A1 Abrams (initially it was planned that they would be the M1A2 SEP v2 version). The tanks are second-hand examples that had previously been operated by the US Armed Forces. This version was made with depleted uranium armor. Production started in 1985 and ended in 1992. Each tank weighs 63 tons and is equipped with a 120 mm gun.
The Ministry of Defense of Poland has stated today that these tanks will be assigned to the 18th Mechanized Division "Żelazna", which is headquartered in Siedlce in eastern Poland. Within that division, the tanks will be assigned to the 1st Warsaw Armored Brigade "Tadeusz Kosciuszko", based in the Polish capital, which is where Polish crews are being trained for the new Abrams.
In addition to these 116 M1A1 Abrams, Poland will receive maintenance vehicles, bridge-launching vehicles, command vehicles and workshop vehicles. mounted on Humvee chassis. The Polish Ministry of Defense has reported that two more batches of Abrams tanks will be delivered to the Polish Army this year.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said today: "Thanks to this, Poland is safe. Today we show the strength of the Polish-American alliance, which serves security of Poland, but also the entire eastern flank of the North Atlantic Alliance. We support Ukraine, but also, and perhaps above all, because this is my mission as Minister of National Defense, I am focused on strengthening the Polish army, to deter the aggressor in cooperation with our American partner."
Błaszczak added that these tanks "are going to be a truly impenetrable barrier. They will close the "Brest Gate". Our task is to deter the aggressor. To prevent the aggressor from invading Polish lands." The Brest Gate (Brama Brzeska) is how the 80-kilometer strip that separates that country from neighboring Belarus is known in Poland.
In addition to these 166 M1A1s, Poland will receive 250 M1A2 SEP v.3, one of the most modern versions of the Abrams. Between the two versions, there will be a total of 366 tanks, to which we must add the 1,000 K2 Black Panther tanks bought by Poland from South Korea. In December the first 10 arrived. With these tanks, in addition to the 105 Leopard 2A5, 45 Leopard 2Pl and 83 Leopard 2A4, Poland is going to have one of the most powerful armored forces and NATO in Europe.
Photos: Ministerstwo Obrony Narodowej.
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