Poland acquires final batch of 47 M1A1 tanks, 250 SEPv3s awaited

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The Polish Army recently announced that it has received the final shipment of M1A1 Abrams tanks. As of June 26, the Polish military has taken delivery of the last 47 main battle tanks. Same day Poland acquired 26 M1152A1B2 HMMWV workshops and various consumables. This marks the conclusion of the M1A1FEP Abrams deliveries, paving the way for the upcoming introduction of M1A2 SEP v.3 main battle tanks to the Polish armed forces.

To take you back a bit, in April 2022, Poland officially signed an agreement to purchase 250 units of the latest M1A2 Abrams tanks in the SEPv3 configuration. The contract, valued at $4.75 billion, also includes the supply of M88A2 Hercules recovery vehicles and M1110 Joint Assault Bridges.

By July of the same year, Poland decided to fast-track the acquisition of about 240 additional vehicles to supplement their Soviet-era T-72 tanks, which were transferred to Ukraine as part of defense aid. To bridge this gap, Poland secured used American Abrams tanks under a separate supply agreement.

116 used M1A1

We’re looking at 116 pre-owned vehicles that were originally part of the US Marine Corps inventory and were stored at bases by the time the agreement was signed. These vehicles feature an updated fire control system and enhanced armor protection, setting them apart from similar variants designed for ground forces.

Poland received the initial batch of M1A1FEP Abrams tanks on June 28, 2023—almost 11 months after signing the contracts. This first batch included 14 tanks and three M88A2 Hercules machines.

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Subsequent deliveries picked up the pace. In November last year, a second batch arrived with 26 tanks and nine more M88A2 Hercules machines. Another 29 tanks were delivered in January this year.

Regional Abrams hub

In February 2024, Poland inaugurated a regional maintenance hub for Abrams main battle tanks in Poznań, roughly 300 kilometers west of Warsaw. The state-owned Polish Armaments Group [PGZ] announced that the facility is available to American forces stationed in Poland, as well as other European partners requiring Abrams repairs.

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Photo credit: Twitter

PGZ mentioned that the hub will not only support Polish Abrams tanks operating within the country but also those deployed abroad. “The army must have comprehensive support for the service, operation, and maintenance of every piece of equipment in its arsenal,” stated PGZ Management Board Vice President Krzysztof Sola.

“I would like to extend my gratitude to the representatives of General Dynamics Land Systems, the management board of WZM, and the employees of PGZ for making this project a reality in such a short amount of time.”

Design differences

The U.S. Marine Corps’ M1A1FEP [Firepower Enhancement Package] tanks and the U.S. Army’s M1A1 tanks share a common base but have several key differences tailored to their specific operational needs and environments.

One of the primary differences lies in the communication systems. The Marine Corps M1A1FEP tanks are equipped with the Blue Force Tracker, a satellite-based tracking system that provides real-time situational awareness and enhances coordination with other units.

Another significant difference is the armor configuration. The Marine Corps M1A1FEP tanks are fitted with additional armor packages to provide enhanced protection against improvised explosive devices [IEDs] and rocket-propelled grenades [RPGs]. The Marine Corps’ M1A1FEP tanks also feature modifications to their suspension systems. These adjustments are made to better handle the unique challenges of amphibious operations and rough terrain.

Differences in firepower

In terms of firepower, the M1A1FEP tanks have upgraded fire-control systems, including improved thermal sights and ballistic computers. These enhancements allow for more accurate targeting and engagement of enemy forces, which is essential for the fast-paced and dynamic combat situations that the Marine Corps often faces.

Logistically, the Marine Corps’ M1A1FEP tanks are designed to be more self-sufficient in austere environments. They include features that facilitate easier maintenance and repairs in the field, reflecting the Marines’ need to operate independently for extended periods without immediate access to extensive support infrastructure.



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