Polish army to be strongest in Europe in two years - defence minister
Poland's defence minister has said if the government wins another term of office it will continue its defence policy and Poland will have Europe's strongest land army in two years.
Mariusz Blaszczak made the statement on public radio on Wednesday and highlighted the presence of American F-22 fighter jets in Poland.
"This is our programme resulting from Polish-American cooperation," he explained. "Our air force receives support in the form of American multi-task aircraft. This is a very important element of cooperation showing interoperability. F-22 pilots train with our F-16 pilots. Our F-16 pilots are preparing to fly Polish F-35s next year."
Blaszczak went on to point out that US-made Abrams tanks would also soon be arriving. "They will equip the 18th Mechanised Division," he added.
The tanks will be tasked with closing the so-called Brest gate (southwest Belarus on the Polish border). "Their task will be to create such a barrier, such a dam that will not be pierced by the aggressor. First of all, we want to deter the aggressor. To show that the Polish Army is strong, equipped with modern weapons," Blaszczak stressed.
Later on Wednesday the Land Forces Inspector at the General Command of the Polish Armed Forces, Major General Maciej Jabłoński, announced that the first 14 out of 116 M1A1 Abrams tanks ordered by Poland will be handed over to the army in the middle of this year.