Poland to purchase US-made Abrams tanks - dep PM

Mateusz Marek/PAP

Poland will buy "a great number" of Abrams tanks from the United States, with deliveries expected next year, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a deputy prime minister and the ruling party leader, said on Wednesday. According to the defence minister, the programme will cost Poland EUR 5.1 billion.

The Ministry of National Defence reported on Wednesday that Poland would purchase 250 of the state-of-the-art M1A2 ABRAMS SEPv3 tanks.

Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said the entire programme will cost Poland PLN 23.3 billion (EUR 5.1 billion). "Of course, tanks constitute the bulk of the price but, apart from that, the programme also includes logistics and training packages as well as money we'll be spending on the development of infrastructure," Blaszczak said.

Kaczynski said at the 1st Warsaw Armoured Brigade, in Wesola, a district of Warsaw, that if everything goes according to plan, "next year, our armed forces will gain a large number of Abrams tanks which, at present, are the most modern tanks in the world."

He pointed out that the tanks were the newest version, "a version that is... now entering service with the US Army."

"They are state-of-the-art tanks that are able to perform various types of maneuvers, as well as conduct combat and fire with great precision and efficiency. This is... a new feature when it comes to arming land forces," he said.

Kaczynski added that "there will be enough of these tanks to create at least four tank battalions, which is more than necessary to create a tank brigade."

"Our principle is that whoever wants peace, must prepare for war. Well, we want peace, but in the event of distress, our defence will be stronger," he said.

Blaszczak said that the Abrams tanks would be deployed in the eastern part of the country. "They will be part of the 1st Armoured Brigade," he added.

"They will be used by the 19th Mechanized Brigade based in Lublin that is just being formed," he said. "So there will be no problems with deployment in an emergency situation. These tanks will be on the first line of defence, if of course there is such a need," he noted.

The latest version of the M1A2 Abrams has been in service since 2020, but the first Abrams model was introduced in the early 1980s.

Poland is seeking to replace its Soviet-era T-72 tanks and their descendants, PT-91s, with more modern Western machines.