Poland received this Wednesday a first shipment of American-made advanced Abrams tanksas declared by its Defense Minister, while the country strengthens its military capabilities in the face of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The Warsaw authorities ordered a total of 366 Abrams tanks to the United Statesand the first batch consists of 14 tanks that arrived in the port city of szczecin.
“The first tanks are already on Polish soil, it is an important day for the Polish army,” the Defense Minister told the press. Mariusz Blaszczak.
“This year we will have more tanks and they will form an Abrams tank battalion,” added Blaszczak, hailing the American-made Abrams as “the best tanks in the world”.
The shipment is part of an agreement for the value of 1.4 billion dollars for the purchase of 116 M1A1 Abrams tanks which were previously used by the US Marine Corps.
Last year, Poland bought another 250 Abrams in a more modern M1A2 variant, scheduled for delivery by the end of 2024.
“Not all countries can have this type of tanks, Poland is the first country outside the United States to have Abrams tanks in the most modern versionBlaszczak added.
Poland, a member of NATO and the European Union and a staunch ally of Ukraine, announced in January that it plans to spend 4 percent of its gross domestic product on defense this year.
Warsaw has signed multiple arms contracts, including with the United States and South Korea, from whom it ordered K2 “Black Panther” tanks and K9 howitzers.
Last May, Poland also received its first delivery of US-made HIMARS rocket launcherwithin an improvement of its defenses amid security concerns due to the war in neighboring Ukraine.
Blaszczak and other military commanders attended the acquisition ceremony from the military installations of the 16th Army Artillery Brigade, near Warsaw, and stated that this weaponry will provide Poland “great firepower in a relatively short time”.
The minister stressed that HIMARS rocket launchers have been combat-tested in Ukraine and that NATO member Poland was trying to get more to achieve a total force of about 500 units.
(With information from AFP, AP and EFE)
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