Written by Vassiliki Charitaki
Amidst the war between Ukraine and Russia, Poland obtained 116 Abrams Tanks after sealing the deal with the United States, which constitutes the supplier.
Moreover, the contract between the two parties was signed in April and worth 4.75 billion dollars. It includes 250 pre-owned vehicles withdrawn from US Marine Corps service in 2020, which will be gradually delivered to the Polish land forces by 2025, whilst also including ammunition and relevant training and logistics packages to prepare further and support polish soldiers (Suciu, 2022). The Abrams will replace Poland’s T-72 tanks, which the latter donated to Ukraine to strengthen their armed forces in the light of the war.
Concerning the tank’s characteristics, the Abrams were developed by Germany’s leading company, “Rheinmetall”, and its main armament includes a 120mm M256 smoothbore gun. The tank is protected against nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare (Manuel, 2022).
According to the Minister of Defence Mariusz Błaszczak, this new entry will significantly reinforce the Polish armed forces, especially after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He added that Warsaw has committed to strengthening its defence and will invest 3% of the country’s gross domestic product (KALNINA, 2022). After donating the T-72 tanks to Ukraine, Warsaw was left bare without a significant defence shield which could make Poland a vulnerable target. However, it managed to fill the void and become fully prepared to deal with any challenge.
Furthermore, during the NATO Summit in Madrid, President Joe Biden underlined the urge to enhance further the partnership between the two countries, specifically, their NATO alliance. In the same context, Biden mentioned that Poland will be the home of a permanent base for the 5th American corps and an American missile defense system to “strengthen NATO interoperability across the entire eastern flank” (Elliot, 2022). Poland’s borders with Ukraine and Russia (Kaliningrad) allow Poland to play a critical role in Europe’s and NATO defense regime. Thus, a missile base could be the steppingstone to better protect and defend against any imminent threat posed by Russian missiles.
Elliot, A. (2022, July 11). Poland’s tank purchase shores up modernization plan, NATO alliance. Retrieved from army.mil.
KALNINA, V. (2022, July 18). Abrams training tanks already in Poland – Defence Minister. Retrieved from Thefirstnews: https://www.thefirstnews.com/article/abrams-training-tanks-already-in-poland—defence-minister-31798
Manuel, R. (2022, July 18). Poland Buys 116 Used M1A1 Abrams Tanks From US. Retrieved from Thedefensepost: https://www.thedefensepost.com/2022/07/18/poland-m1a1-abrams-tank-us/ Suciu, P. (2022, July 19). Poland Is Getting M1 Abrams Tanks And Russia Will Be Quite Enraged. Retrieved from 19fortyfive.com: https://www.19fortyfive.com/2022/07/poland-abrams-tanks-purchases/