First US Abrams tanks to arrive in Poland in April - MoD

Mariusz Błaszczak/Twitter

The first of 116 used Abrams tanks ordered from the US will be delivered to Poland in April, the Polish defence minister has said.

The tanks' arrival forms part of a significant expansion of the Polish armed forces.

"Preparations are ongoing to transfer the first of 116 Abrams tanks ordered for the Polish Army," Mariusz Blaszczak wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

A deal for the M1A1 Abrams tanks was signed in early January in a contract valued at USD 1.4 billion, of which the US is to cover around USD 200 million in military aid. The agreement included the delivery of 12 technical support vehicles, eight mobile bridges, six command vehicles and 26 maintenance vehicles based on the Humvee, as well as training and logistical support.

Delivery of the tanks, previously used by the US Marine Corps, and other vehicles is foreseen in 2023 and 2024. They will be delivered ahead of the latest version of the Abrams, the M1A2 SEPv3, 250 of which Poland purchased earlier from the US as part of a USD 4.75-billion deal and which are scheduled for delivery in late 2024.

Last year, as part of a separate agreement, the US military transported 28 Abrams M1A2 SEPv2 tanks to Poland along with instructors to train Polish crews.