Final configuration of Abrams tanks to be specified in contract - MoD

"The final configuration of the M2A2 SEP v.3 Abrams tanks will be specified in the contract," the ministry replied. Kim Hee-Chul/PAP/EPA

The final configuration of 250 M1A2 Abrams SEP v.3 tanks Poland plans to buy from the US will be specified in the contract, the Ministry of Defence said in response to a query from PAP.

The defence ministry reported in July that Poland intends to buy 250 of the state-of-the-art tanks valued at PLN 23 billion (EUR 5.05 billion), including logistics, training and the development of infrastructure. The first tanks are expected to be delivered next year and will be deployed in the east of the country as part of the 1st Armoured Brigade.

PAP asked the Ministry of Defence whether the configuration of the tanks Poland plans to buy would be the same as those in use by the US military. "The final configuration of the M2A2 SEP v.3 Abrams tanks will be specified in the contract," the ministry replied.

Critics of the decision to buy the US tanks say this could undermine Poland's ongoing 'Wilk' programme aimed at constructing the country's own basic tank that would replace the aged Soviet-era T-72 tanks.

"The acquisition of 250 M1A2 SEP v. 3 Abrams tanks together with accompanying vehicles as well as a logistics and training package does not constitute implementation of the Wilk programme," the ministry's press office told PAP.

"The task of acquiring the new 'Wilk'-type tanks within the framework of a classified operational programme to increase the maneuverability of forces in the land environment in difficult-to-access terrain, with the support of Polish industry or within the framework of international cooperation, is currently in its analytical-conceptual phase," the ministry said.

The ministry also stated that "the purchase of Abrams will not be at the cost of other modernisation programmes for the Polish Armed Forces, and the financing of this purchase will be carried out beyond the MoD budget."