US approves the sale to Poland of 116 M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks

According to information published by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) on December 6, 2022, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Poland of 116 M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks and related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.75 billion.
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U.S. Marines fire the main gun of an M1A1 Abrams tank during a training exercise at Camp Lejeune. (Picture source U.S. Marines)

The Government of Poland has requested to buy one hundred sixteen (116) M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks; twelve (12) M88A2 HERCULES Combat Recovery Vehicles; eight (8) M1110 Joint Assault Bridges; six (6) M577A3 Command Vehicles; twenty-six (26) M1152A1 High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV); twenty-six (26) M1279A1 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV); one hundred sixteen (116) M2 .50 caliber machine guns; two hundred thirty-two (232) M240 7.62mm machine guns; six (6) AGT1500 gas turbine engines.

The U.S. Foreign Military Sale for Poland also includes thirty thousand nine hundred twenty-eight (30,928) 120mm M865 Target Practice, Cone Stabilized, Discarding Sabot - Tracer (TPCSDS-T) cartridges; twenty thousand eight hundred twenty-three (20,823) 120mm M1002 Target Practice Multipurpose Tracer (TPMP-T) projectiles; sixty thousand (60,000) 120mm M829A4 Armor Piercing, Fin Stabilized, Discarding Sabot-Tracer (APFSDS-T) cartridges; two thousand (2,000) 120mm M829A3 Armor Piercing, Fin Stabilized, Discarding Sabot-Tracer (APFSDS-T) cartridges; fifty thousand (50,000) 120mm M829A2 Armor Piercing, Fin Stabilized, Discarding Sabot-Tracer (APFSDS-T) Cartridges; ten thousand (10,000) 120mm M830A1 High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) TP-T cartridges; sixty thousand (60,000) 120mm M908 High Explosive Obstacle Reduction-Tracer (HE-OR-T) cartridges; and seventy thousand (70,000) 120mm M1147 High Explosive Advanced Multipurpose Round cartridges.

On July 17, 2022, the Army Recognition editorial team reported that the Polish defense minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced the purchase of 116 second-hand M1 Abrams main battle tanks from the United States.

In 2020, it was announced that the U.S. Marine Corps was going to withdraw from active service all its combat tanks representing approximately 200 M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks. These tanks could be delivered to Poland under the purchase contract. The only problem is that these tanks are of the M1A1 model and do not have the same level of firepower and mobility as the SEP V3 version.The Abrams M1A1 is a modernized version of the Abrams M1 that entered into service with the U.S. armed forces in 1991. A total of 4,796 M1A1 tanks were built for the US Army and 221 for the US Marines.

The main armament of the M1A1 Abrams consists of a 120mm M256 smoothbore gun, developed by Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH of Germany. The second armament includes one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun mounted to the right of the main armament and a similar weapon is available on the left side of the turret. The commander hatch is armed with a standard 12.7 mm (0.50) Browning M2 HB machine gun which can be elevated from -10 to +65° and traversed through 360°

The M1A1 Abrams is motorized with a Honeywell AGT 1500 gas turbine engine coupled to an Allison automatic transmission X-1100-3B with 4 forward and 2 reverse gears. It can reach a maximum speed of approximately 68 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 426 km.