Abrams MBTs have been proposed to Poland, within the framework of the Wilk new generation MBT programme. The US-made MBTs are just one of the proposals. This is what can be indirectly deduced from the replies provided to us by the Armament Inspectorate. US Army is one of the participants of the market analysis process. We may say with some degree of certainty that it has placed a bid with Abrams procurement using the FMS procedure.
Responding to our inquiry, spokesman for the Armament Inspectorate, Major Krzysztof Płatek, told us that the “analytical-conceptual phase for the task pertaining to the acquisition of the new generation MBTs, namely the WILK programme, has not been accomplished yet. (...) The analytical-conceptual phase covers a broad range of existing or prospective designs from all around the world”.
Płatek added that “talks carried out during the market analysis involved the following entities: Ośrodek Badawczo-Rozwojowy Urządzeń Mechanicznych „OBRUM” Sp. z o.o., Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Gmbh & Co. KG, represented by the WZM S.A. facility based in Poznań, Rheinmetall Defence, represented by Rheinmetall Defence Polska Sp. z o.o., Hyundai Rotem Co., represented by H.Cegielski Poznań S.A., the US Army, BAE Systems Hägglunds AB, and General Dynamics European Land Systems”.
Płatek has not directly specified the solutions that are being considered. He only noted that both the existing, as well as prospective, future designs are being taken into the account. However, the fact that the US Army has been involved in the talks means, in practical terms, that M1 Abrams MBT has also been taken into the account during the negotiation. The Abrams MBTs could be offered via FMS by the US Government (with upgrades included, as it happened in the case of Taiwan for instance). Any effort aimed at developing a replacement of the Abrams platform is still in its infancy, and no specific assumptions have been made when it comes to its configuration. Meanwhile, the M1A2 family of vehicles is and still would be modernized in the future. The market analysis also involved the General Dynamics company (MBT manufacturer), and BAE Systems. The latter entity, apart from the armoured platforms, also delivers the M88 ARVs that work in conjunction with the Abrams MBTs.
Abrams is the third existing design offered in the Wilk programme, alongside the Leopard 2 MBT and the South Korean K2 design. The Wilk programme is aimed at selecting a replacement for the T-72/PT-91 MBTs. In addition to existing platforms, entirely new solutions are also being taken into the account here - this has been confirmed by the spokesman for the Armament Inspectorate. He added that “recommendations on how the new MBTs would be acquired are all going to be defined in the documentation developed based on the analytical-conceptual phase, taking into account the emergence of the Essential Security Interest of the State, during the execution of this procedure”. Wilk programme analytical effort has been going on since 2017.