After making history as the first U.S. ally in Europe to receive U.S.-made M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks, Poland inked a $1.4B deal to purchase a second batch Jan. 3.
As the war in Ukraine rages on with no end in sight, this foreign military sales case was executed by the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC) and is expected to strengthen both Poland and the NATO Alliance, said Heath Bedard, USASAC’s country program manager for Poland.
A Letter of Request was received July 22, 2022 for over 100 M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks, M88A2 Recovery Vehicles, M1110 Joint Assault Bridges, M577 Command Vehicles, Humvees and support items. The Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) was offered to Poland Dec. 22, 2022. After the Jan. 3 signing, the case was implemented Jan. 9, 2023 and an expedited delivery is expected to begin later this year.
Additionally, Congress approved Poland for $288.6M in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) in September. According to the U.S. Embassy in Poland website, this funding, announced by Secretary Blinken in Kyiv Sept. 8 and making Poland one of the largest recipients of Foreign Military Assistance outside of Ukraine, is intended to “build the capacity of Poland to deter and defend against the increased threat from Russia. Poland has delivered extraordinary support to Ukraine in the face of Russia’s further invasion. These funds will speed the backfill of capabilities Poland has been able to provide from its own stocks to add to Ukraine’s defense, including main battle tanks.”
Poland requested to allocate a majority of this FMF, roughly $192M, towards the procurement of M1A1s. Poland has also submitted requests for additional Javelin Missiles, HIMARS and HIMARS Munitions, as well as requests for HELLFIRE Missiles, Phase 2 of their Wisla PATRIOT Program and AH-64E Apache Helicopters.
“The Enterprise leaned toward utilizing Special Defense Acquisition Funding (SDAF) to start initial long lead and tank conversion efforts to get tanks to Poland as soon as possible,” Bedard said. “Poland intends to modernize the M1A1s at a later stage, possibly upon completion of delivery of the M1A2 SEPv3 tanks from last year’s $4.7B implemented LOA.”