First batch of 28 US M1A2 Abrams tanks for Polish army arrives in Poland

According to information published on the Twitter account of Polish Minister of Defense Obrony Narodowej on July 19, 2022, the first 28 M1A2 Abrams tanks for the Polish army arrived in Poland. They will be used to train Polish soldiers.
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The first American M1A2 Abrams tanks purchased for the Polish army arrive in Poland. (Picture source Twitter account Polish Minister of Defense Obrony Narodowej)

On February 17, 2022, the U.S. State Department announced a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Poland of 250 M1A2 SEP V3 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $6.0 billion.

On April 5, 2022, Poland signed a contract to purchase 250 M1A2 Abrams SEP V3 also called M1A2C main battle tanks. The first tanks would be produced by the end of 2024 and the first delivery will start in 2025.

Poland needs to strengthen its combat tank capacities after donating to Ukraine of 240 Soviet-made T-72 tanks from its military inventory. On Friday, July 15, 2022, the Polish defense minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced the purchase of 116 second-hand M1 Abrams main battle tanks from the United States to strengthen its armed forces following the invasion of Ukraine by Russian armed forces.

Before the war in Ukraine, Poland had a total of 137 Leopard 2A4 (being upgraded to 2PL) 105 Leopard 2A5, 5 Leopard 2PL (in test) 232 PT-91 Twardy, and 329 T-72A/T-72M1. There are also rumors that Poland could also give its PT-91s MBTs to Ukraine.

The American M1A2 SEPV V3 tanks that will be delivered to Poland, are the latest generation of tanks in the Abrams M1 family. It is a modernized version of the Abrams M1A2 offering enhanced protection and survivability, as well as higher lethality than its predecessors.

The layout of the M1A2 SEPV V3 is similar to the previous version with the driver at the front of the hull, the turret in the middle, and the powerpack at the rear. It has a crew of four including a driver, commander, gunner, and loader.

The main armament of the M1A2 SEPV V3 consists of an M256 120mm smoothbore cannon, which can fire M829A4 advanced kinetic energy and advanced multi-purpose (AMP) rounds to defend armored vehicles, personnel, and low-flying aircraft. The second armament includes one remotely operated weapon station mounted on the commander hatch armed with one 12.7mm heavy machine gun and one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun mounted to the right of the main armament.

The hull and the turret of the M1A2 SEPV V3 are fitted with a new armor package offering enhanced protection against anti-tank guided missiles and IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). The tank is also equipped with a counter remote-controlled IED (RCIED) electronic warfare system that protects the crew from roadside bombs and IED attacks.

The M1A2 SEP V3 is motorized with a Honeywell AGT1500 gas turbine engine developing 1,500 hp. it can run at a maximum road speed of 68 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 425 km.