Land Forces

Number of K2 MBTs in Poland Increases. How Many Tanks Do The Polish Armed Forces Operate?

Polish K2 MBT.
Polish K2 MBT.
Photo. US Army

On 20th March 2024, Paweł Bejda, Secretary of State at the Polish Ministry of Defence, announced that another batch of K2 Black Panther main battle tanks had been delivered to Poland. The release was then confirmed by the Armament Agency.


Let us recall, 3 main battle tanks were delivered on 11th March, 4 main battle tanks were delivered on 17th March, and 11 tanks were delivered to Gdynia on 19th March. Over less than 2 weeks, Hyundai Rotem has been able to deliver 18 K2 Black Panther main battle tanks, out of the total number of 180 ordered examples. It is worth then, to keep the quantitative data on the main battle tanks of the Polish Army up to date. The armoured inventory is being gradually modernized, with the average age of the operated assets going down. Let us look at the updated numbers, following the latest deliveries. We shall also scrutinize the prospects, considering the timeline extending to 2026.


Currently, the Land Forces operate the following main battle tanks:

  • 46 K2 Black Panthers;
  • 69 M1A1FEP Abrams;
  • 66 Leopards 2A4;
  • 62 Leopards 2PL;
  • 105 Leopards 2A5;
  • Ca. 172 PT-91 Twardys;
  • Ca. 111 T-72M1/M1Rs.

631 main battle tanks in total, 348 of which can be viewed as modern 3rd generation platforms of western design, and 238 T-72M1 and PT-91 Twardy MBTs - and these are facing a prospect of imminent decommissioning. The ongoing generational replacement of the Polish main battle tanks places the Polish Armed Forces in a transitional period. This translates into a broad variety of equipment types operated by the Armoured and Mechanized Component. And that variety will prevail until the legacy platforms are decommissioned and replaced by new-generation counterparts. What are the prospects then, considering the upcoming years?


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Until the end of 2024, another 38 K2 Black Panther and 47 M1A1FEP Abrams main battle tanks would be delivered for the Polish Armed Forces. The commissioning of those would bring the number of modern, 3rd generation main battle tanks in the Polish inventory up to 433. This would make it possible to withdraw more T-72M1 MBTs. Not only are these obsolete, but they are becoming more costly to operate, with numerous maintenance challenges ahead.

The information released by the Polish Ministry of Defence so far shows that deliveries of the remaining 96 K2 Black Panthers will commence in 2025. Poland is also going to receive the first out of 250 M1A2SEPv3 Abrams next year. The last lot of the latter MBT type is scheduled to be delivered in 2026. This means that Poland will operate the following fleet of 3rd generation main battle tanks in 2027:

  • 180 K2 Black Panthers;
  • 116 M1A1EP Abrams;
  • 250 M1A2SEPv3 Abrams;
  • 105 Leopards 2A5;
  • 128 Leopards 2PL;

In total, Poland will operate 779 3rd generation MBTs. This does not exhaust the requirements of the Polish Armed Forces, however, these numbers will probably make it possible to decommission all of the legacy T-72 and PT-91 platforms. A decision on the procurement of further tanks is necessary to make it possible to further reinforce the quantitative potential within the Land Forces and also to establish reserves. It is also necessary to finalize the K2PL programme, expected to result in the delivery of 820 modern main battle tanks made in South Korea and Poland. As time progresses, this will make it possible for the already commissioned K2 MBTs to receive the K2 upgrade. The fleet would thus be homogenized, with the Polish armoured potential being significantly reinforced.

The plan is to upgrade the Polish M1A1FEP main battle tanks to the M1A2SEPv3 standard. Furthermore, the procurement of K2PL, and the Polish manufacturing efforts, will also make it possible to gradually withdraw the Leopard 2A5 and Leopard 2PL platforms. This plan would make it possible to expand the fleet and reduce the number of operated main battle tanks from 7 (now) to 2. In the longer run, the Polish Army would operate 2 types of main battle tank platforms:

  • 366 M1A2SEPv3 Abrams;
  • 1000 K2PL.

Both the quality, as well as quantity of armoured assets in the Polish Armed Forces are undergoing a major improvement. The combat value of tanks like K2 or M1 is equivalent to a couple of T-72M1R or PT-91 Twardy main battle tanks. Now the Polish Ministry of Defence should follow the plan, and finalize the aforesaid process.

There is still a lot to be done in other areas tied to WPiZ [Armoured and Mechanized Forces]. Key matters are tied to series manufacturing and mass procurement of Borsuk IFVs, equipping the mechanized infantry with modernized kit, development of a multi-layered anti-tank defence system, and so on.

These processes take time. None of them can be completed overnight. The continuity in decision-making and the consequent implementation of those programmes are of key importance here. It needs to be noted: that the Polish Armed Forces and the defence industry’s competency serve as a war insurance policy for all of the Polish citizens.

Należące do 1 Warszawskiej Brygady Pancernej czołgi M1A1 Abrams na ćwiczeniach Dragon-24.
M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks of the 1st "Warszawska" Armoured Brigade, Dragon-24 exercise.
Photo. cprl. Sławomir Kozioł / 18th Mechanized Division