Poland signs contract for purchase of 250 Abrams tanks from US

Poland’s contract for the purchase of 250 Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 tanks from the United States was signed on Tuesday by Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, who said that reinforcement of the Polish armed forces was particularly important and that the new tanks would go to the 18th Mechanised Division. He said in March that the tanks would be deployed to eastern Poland.

“The task of these tanks, which come as a consequence of the Polish government’s strengthening the Polish Army, is to deter a possible aggressor,” said Minister Błaszczak. “We are all aware of what is happening beyond our eastern border.”

Minister Błaszczak thanked everyone who helped make the deal happen, addressing specific thanks to US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin. Present at the signing was also US Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski, who said that on top of giving Poland great power, “the deal was more than just a contract – it was the start of a deeper partnership between Poland’s and America’s armed forces”. He said Polish-US bilateral relations had never been stronger and that the signing represented a further example of the two countries’ united front, something made evident by recent visits from high-ranking American dignitaries including Vice-President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin. Brzezinski added that Poland had shown it was engaged in the strengthening of NATO by being the first European country to acquire Abrams tanks.

Minister Błaszczak said the value of the contract was USD 4.74 billion. It finalised a defence ministry decision from July last year to buy the tanks. The first 28 will go to the Polish Army in 2022 for training purposes with the remainder scheduled for delivery in 2026. The tanks produced by the General Dynamics company at its factory in Lima, Ohio, come with a logistics and training package, as well as simulators.