Poznan WZM Facility Supporting the Abrams MBTs

Photo. Jacek Raubo/Defence24

PGZ Group concluded a memorandum with the General Dynamic Land Systems company, regarding the establishment of a centre of competency for Abrams MBT maintenance. First, the centre would be supporting the main battle tanks operated by the Polish Army. Secondly, it could also render services for the US forces stationed in Europe.

The Teaming Agreement contract was concluded during the Abrams Supplier Conference, organized jointly by Wojskowe Zakłady Motoryzacyjne (WZM), and General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS). The agreement results on the grounds of arrangements made by and between PGZ S.A. and WZM S.A. (Polish side), and General Dynamics Land Systems (US Side).

The PGZ representatives do stress that the agreement is tied directly to the decision made by the Polish Ministry of Defence on the procurement of the Abrams main battle tanks for the Polish Ministry of Defence. This confirms a decision on the establishment of a Centre of Competency for Abrams at WZM. The implementation of that agreement would make it possible to establish a potential for Abrams maintenance to meet the requirements that the Polish Army may have within the said scope.

In the future, the US Forces stationed in Poland, and around Europe, could also make use of the potential offered by the Centre.

WZM and the PGZ Group have been getting ready to establish a Centre of Competency for the Abrams main battle tanks for quite some time now. As a trustworthy partner of the military, we are responsible for supporting the units in maintaining all equipment types operated or expected to be commissioned by the Polish Armed Forces. Thus the decision made by Minister Mariusz Błaszczak on procurement of the Abrams main battle tanks for the armoured component meant that a necessity emerged for us to acquire a maintenance capacity regarding this type of main battle tank. Thanks to the deep involvement of the WZM's management and employees, supported by many years of experience in maintaining heavy armour and tracked platform gathered by the Poznan-based company, we have managed to reach an understanding with the US side. The agreement today formalizes our efforts and also opens a new chapter in the history of the company.
Sebastian Chwałek, President of the Management Board at PGZ

Wojskowe Zakłady Motoryzacyjne S.A. [Military Automotive Works], based in Poznan, is a company that has gathered significant experience in dealing with modern armour. The company is also a consortium member, in a consortium dealing with manufacturing of the K2PL MBT, and the Leopard MBT maintenance hub has been established there back in 2019- from scratch. Poland used the FMS scheme to procure 2 batches of Abrams main battle tanks, along with training and logistics packages and support assets, such as the Hercules ARVs, and Joint Assault Bridges. 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.

In early 2023, 116 second-hand M1A1 main battle tanks were ordered, with an accelerated delivery schedule (from this year, until February 2024). These are to act as a gap filler, following the transfer of some of the Polish MBTs to Ukraine. The procurement price is defined as USD 1.4 bn., where USD 200 million would be covered by the US funding. The 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.