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Poland is expected to receive 250 M1A2SEPv3 Abrams main battle tanks from the end of 2022. This should equip at least four tank battalions. They are to be stationed in the 1st Warsaw Tank Brigade and the 19th Mechanized Brigade as part of the 18th Mechanized Division in the east of the country. It is their task to counterbalance the most modern Russian T-14 Armata tanks in the possible first line of defense against an attack from the east. This has now been announced by the Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński together with the Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.

After Australia, Poland is only the second country other than the USA to receive this version. In addition to the main battle tanks, the procurement package also includes support vehicles, packages for training (including simulators) and logistics, as well as large ammunition stocks. The government is providing the equivalent of 5.1 billion euros for the entire procurement, which is financed outside the defense budget.

Polen erhält 250 Panzer M1A2SEPv3 Abrams
Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński together with Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, Photo: MoD Poland

The M1A2SEPv3 version is the most modern version of the Abrams main battle tank, which has been introduced into the US Army since 2019. The most important innovations of the tank are the modernized fire control system in a new electronic system architecture as well as energy generation systems. The open, modular architecture allows the easy integration of further and future systems. The new M829A4 sub-caliber ammunition and the XM1147 programmable multi-purpose ammunition can be fired from the 120 mm smoothbore cannon. Two second generation FLIR thermal imaging cameras for the commander and gunner enable hunter-killer capabilities in all visual conditions.

The 67-ton tank is powered by an AGT-1500 gas turbine with a maximum output of 1,120 kW and reaches a top speed of 68 km / h. Elements made of depleted uranium, composite and cage armor and reactive armor are used for protection. It is not known whether the protection of the Polish tanks will match that of the American ones.

Polen erhält 250 Panzer M1A2SEPv3 Abrams

The new tanks are intended to replace the T-72 and PT-91 tanks from the Russian era. The 447 Leopard 2 A4 and A5 main battle tanks acquired by Germany in 2002 and 2013 are apparently intended to continue to be used. Poland had thus made the technical and tactical connection to NATO.

For Australia, the US government approved the purchase of 75 M1A2SEPv3s, along with other armored vehicles, in April 2021. The main suppliers there are General Dynamics Land Systems, BAE Systems, and Leonardo DRS.

Gerhard Heiming