Poland’s defense minister Mariusz Błaszczak announced on Wednesday that the country will acquire 250 Abrams tanks in the latest SEPv3 configuration.
“So we are ordering the most modern tanks. Tanks available in the best equipped version, tanks that are combat proven, tanks which were constructed to counter the most modern Russian T-14 Armata tanks,” the minister was quoted as saying by Polish media.
The contract is expected to be worth around $6 billion. The Polish Army already has a tank force consisting of various models of the German Leopard 2, the domestically-built PT-91 and the aging Soviet-era T-72.
The brand new M1A2 tanks will replace the Army’s old T-72s.
Abrams M1A2 System Enhancement Program Version 3 (SEPv3) Main Battle Tank (MBT)
The SEPv3 configuration includes advancements in communications, reliability, sustainment, fuel efficiency and upgraded armor. The MBT measures 9.7m-long, 3.7m-wide and 2.4m-high, and is manned by a crew of four, including a driver, a commander, a loader and a gunner.
It retains the layout of the M1A2 MBT with the driver’s cab at the forward centre hull, turret in the middle and power-pack at the rear. The tank integrates the line-replaceable module technology to enable easy maintenance of the fleet.
The tank integrates joint tactical radio system (JTRS) handheld, man-pack, and small form fit radio to ensure network readiness and interoperation with future brigade combat teams (BCTs).
It is powered by a Honeywell AGT1500 gas turbine engine, which develops a power of 1,500hp. The main gun fitted on the MBT is a M256 120mm smoothbore cannon, which can fire M829A4 advanced kinetic energy and advanced multi-purpose (AMP) rounds to defend armoured vehicles, personnel and low-flying aircraft.
The tank features a low-profile (LP) common remotely operated weapon system (CROWS) installed with a 12.7mm machine gun. A 7.62mm M240 machine gun is also mounted coaxially with the main gun.
The tank is fitted with improved forward-looking infrared (IFLIR) to detect targets, upgraded day camera, ammunition data link (ADL) for programming of M829A4 and AMP rounds and CREW Duke V3 counter remote-controlled IED (RCIED) electronic warfare system.