On 6 December 2022, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced that the US State Department has approved the sale of 116 M1A1SA Abrams main battle tanks (MBTs) from US stocks to Poland. Blaszczak has indicated that the first M1A1SA Abrams are scheduled for delivery in 2023.
According to a notice posted on the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) website, Poland has requested a package valued at USD 3.75 Bn, consisting of 116 M1A1 MBTs, 12 M88A2 armoured recovery vehicles, eight M1110 armoured bridging vehicles, six M577A3 command post vehicles, 26 M1152A1 HMMWVs, and 26 M1279A1 JLTVs. Additional requests in the package include 116 M2 12.7 mm heavy machine guns, 232 M240 7.62 mm machine guns, and six AGT1500 replacement gas turbines. The order also includes 51,751 rounds of training ammunition in two natures, and 252,000 rounds in the 120 × 570 mm cartridge, for use with 120 mm tank guns. This will allow around 500 crews to be trained and the tanks to be fully replenished more than 50 times. For the first time, the USA will supply M829 depleted uranium (DU) armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS) ammunition to a foreign user countries. The overall package also includes logistical and training services, GPS receivers, technical documentation and manufacturer support.
In February, the U.S. government had approved Poland’s request for 250 new-build M1A2 SEPv3 MBTs. The first delivery is scheduled to take place this year and be completed by 2026. The package also includes other combat vehicles and significant quantities of ammunition.
Once all tank deliveries are completed, Poland will operate a total of 366 M1 Abrams in two variants from the US, 180 K2 Black Panthers from South Korea, and 249 Leopard 2s of various standards. In addition, Poland has 232 domestically-developed PT91 Twardy and around 100 Russian T-72s remaining. Poland has already handed over more than 200 T-72s from its stores to Ukraine. With these new acquisitions, Poland will have a very large and diverse tank fleet. While these will undoubtedly improve Poland’s defensive capabilities overall, operating an MBT fleet comprising over 1,100 tanks in five fundamentally different designs is expected to pose major logistical and training challenges for the Polish Army.