Land Forces

From US Marines to the Polish Army. First Abrams Delivered

Polskie Abramsy Abrams
Polskie Abramsy
Photo. Polish MoD/Twitter

Head of the Polish Ministry of Defence, Mariusz Błaszczak transferred the first batch of 14 Abrama main battle tanks to the Polish Army.

The delivery, as the Armament Agency recalls, includes 14 Abrams MBTs, and 3 M88A2 Hercules ARVs. Overall, the agreement signed in 2023 is to concern delivery of 116 M1A1 FEP Abrams main battle tanks (FEP standing for Firepower Enhancement Package, with that designation being used to refer to the upgraded Abrams main battle tanks used by the USMC). These main battle tanks would be modified to meet the requirements of the Polish Armed Forces. The delivery would also include 12 M88A2 Hercules ARVs, 8 M1074 Joint Assault Bridges, 6 M577 command vehicles, and 26 HMMWV NG SECM repair vehicles, along with a training and logistics package. The agreement has a value of USD 1.4 bn., with approx. 200 million dollars provided by the US.

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The deliveries are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2024. The agreement includes training and logistics packages as well. This is already the second agreement that Poland signed when it comes to the procurement of Abrams MBTs. Throughout the year 2022, 250 brand-new M1A2 SEPv3 main battle tanks were procured, for USD 4.74 bn., with the deliveries scheduled to happen between 2025 and 2026. They would come with a training and logistics package, Joint Assault Bridges, Hercules ARVs, and munitions. Both agreements are being implemented within the FMS scheme - in an intergovernmental process, involving the US authorities.

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The agreement signed in January 2023 has been accelerated, as Poland wants to fill in the gaps emerging after some of its main battle tanks were donated to Ukraine. The lifecycles of the MBTs were reset, and they are tailored to the domestic requirements, for instance through the integration of the Danish SitaWare Systematic BMS. Interestingly, these main battle tanks were originally operated by the USMC who decommissioned them in their entirety, due to structural changes and the specific nature of the Indo-Pacific theater - a priority for the Marines. The main battle tanks, before modification, came in the M1A1 FEP variant.

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All of the Polish Abrams main battle tanks would be operated by the 18th Mechanized Division. The Poznan-based Land Forces Training Centre hosts the Abrams Academy which is already training the soldiers, with a major involvement of the US Army. Poznan would also become an industrial/maintenance hub for the Abrams tanks. A few days ago the PGZ Group, and the Abrams main battle tank manufacturer, General Dynamics Land Systems, signed a Teaming Agreement on the establishment of a maintenance hub for the Abrams main battle tanks, at the PGZ's WZM facility in Poznan.