Poland Wants the Latest Munitions for Its Abrams MBTs. Offset is Key

Photo. Damian Ratka/Defence24

The Armament Agency is still willing to procure the latest M829A4 anti-tank munitions for the Abrams main battle tanks. The information that obtained off-the-record shows that negotiation is underway, in parallel, regarding the domestic manufacturing capacity concerning the US anti-tank and programmable rounds, within the framework of the Phase II Wisła programme offset.


In January this year, a news release was issued, informing that the manufacturing of the uranium core M829A4 munitions for the US Army has come to an end. As the US Government issued approval for the sale of a large quantity of M829A4 APFSDS-T (Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot - Tracer) rounds for Poland, it is obvious that procurement of these AP rounds would be interesting to the public.

Ad sent an inquiry regarding that matter to the Armament Agency, and received a response as follows:

The information released by Northrop Grumman pertained solely to the finalization of manufacturing of munitions procured by the US Army. This does not exclude a scenario in which manufacturing would happen to meet the needs of other countries, Poland included. The Armament Agency sent an inquiry to the USA to define the possibilities and rules that would potentially apply to the procurement of such munitions.

@ Lt. Col. Grzegorz Polak, Spokesman for the Armament Agency


This confirms the assumptions that had been made previously, suggesting that Northrop Grumman simply finalized the last deal with the US government. That means that the US Government would probably select a new, domestic manufacturer of these munitions. Preliminary analysis of that matter has already been launched in the States.

However, not only is Poland willing to procure ammunition for the Abrams MBTs, but it is also looking forward to manufacturing it domestically. The unofficial information obtained by suggests that Poland, within the framework of the offset deal tied to the Wisła MRAD programme, is trying to obtain a license to manufacture the programmable M1147 AMP (Advanced Multi-Purpose) rounds, and the modern APFSDS-T KET (ang. Kinetic Energy Tungsten) rounds with a tungsten core. Both rounds are manufactured by Northrop Grumman, also responsible for the IBCS system for Wisła, and, in the future, Narew systems.

The plans related to manufacturing the ammunition for the Abrams main battle tanks, within the framework of the Wisła programme offset, have already been announced by the PGZ Group. The matter was also mentioned by the President of Northrop Grumman, Kathy Warden, in the interview for

The information obtained by suggests that the Polish efforts aimed at obtaining the ability to manufacture munitions for the Abrams MBT concern both the modern sabot AP rounds (kinetic, tungsten core) as well as the new generation programmable M1147 HE rounds, replacing several types of munitions. The fuse of the latter round can be programmed in three modes. The standard mode assumes that the round detonates immediately upon impact, it can also be delayed, with the round penetrating the external layer and exploding inside (a light armoured vehicle or a bunker for instance), or at a specific point in time, for instance when overflying trenches.

The M1147 round can counter some armoured vehicles, infantry, and fortified structures, but also ATGM squads, or low-flying helicopters. Poland received approval for procurement of these munitions based on the FMS procedure, together with the Abrams MBT, but it is also trying to establish a domestic manufacturing capacity. Poland is going to procure modern munitions for the Abrams main battle tanks, including the US-made M829A4 rounds, but Warsaw is also willing to establish domestic manufacturing potential for different types of highly capable munitions.

Collaborative Effort: Jakub Palowski