Poland seeks to produce depleted uranium ammo for Abrams tanks
Poland wants to produce depleted uranium rounds for US-made Abrams tanks, Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister has said.
On the second day of his three-day visit to the United States, Morawiecki went to the ANAD Anniston Army Depot in Alabama.
"We have been making efforts to locate in Poland the manufacturing of core rounds for Abrams tanks, cores made of depleted uranium, state-of-the-art ammunition," the prime minister said.
An extremely dense material, depleted uranium, when used in anti-tank ammunition, can have a devastating effect on armoured vehicles.
Morawiecki said he had been assured that 14 Abrams will be delivered to Poland by June to replace the country's Soviet-era vehicles that Warsaw sent to Ukraine. He called it a "prelude" to Poland's much bigger orders of 250 brand-new M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams, and 116 modernised Abrams previously used by the US Marine Corps.
According to the prime minister, the equipment will form "an armour curtain that will protect the eastern regions of Poland."
"We're also convinced that alongside this armour curtain, American businesses will also come," he said, adding that he had talked to US military officials and the depot's management about the possibility of "locating plants in Poland that will maintain and repair Abrams tanks in Europe."
Earlier in the day, the prime minister visited a Lockheed Martin aviation plant in Marietta, Georgia.
He said that his visit to the plant was dictated by the need to hasten the supply of US-made military equipment bought by Poland.
Referring to Poland's purchase of Lockheed's F-35 fighter aircraft, Morawiecki said that the planes were the most advanced of their kind in the world, and that possessing them put Poland in the small elite group of countries that operated them.
Morawiecki also said his talks in the US concerned the purchase of JASSM-XR missiles.
Poland stepped up its armament purchases after Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year.
In a Wednesday morning tweet, Morawiecki described Russia as the reborn "Evil Empire" and warned that Moscow poses a threat not only to Ukraine, but to Europe and the whole world. The term ‘Evil Empire’ was first used by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 in reference to the Soviet Union.
"The Evil Empire has been reborn in the East," Morawiecki said. "Russian barbarians threaten not only Ukraine. They threaten all of Europe and the whole free world."
He went on to suggest that Vladimir Putin's plans were not just focused on Ukraine.
"Putin has been building his Evil Empire for 23 years, in preparation for this conflict," he wrote. "New Europe understands this. It is time that Old Europe understood it too."
Morawiecki has often accused Western European governments of not being realistic enough when it comes to contacts with Moscow and criticised them for their overdependence on Russian fossil fuels that has led to the current energy crisis.