The first 14 U.S.-made Abrams tanks arrived in the Polish port of Szczecin on Wednesday.
“The strength of the Polish army increases each day. The rule of Law and Justice means credibility. We keep our word! We keep our promises!” posted Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Facebook.
“This first company consists of 14 tanks. Additional tanks this year will form an Abrams tank battalion,” said Minister of Defense Mariusz Błaszczak in Szczecin.
“Our crews responsible for the security of eastern Poland are already trained. They will take over the Abrams tanks, which will be part of their equipment and serve as an impenetrable barrier; they will hold the Brest Gate (on the border with Belarus),” he added.
The shipment of Abrams tanks that arrived in Szczecin on Wednesday is the first part of an order made in January of this year by the Polish government. It is composed of tanks previously used by the U.S. Marine Corps that have undergone a detailed inspection and have been delivered with zero mileage.
In January of this year, the Polish Ministry of Defense signed a contract for 116 M1A1 Abrams tanks and accompanying equipment, including 12 M88 Hercules technical support vehicles, assault bridges, and command vehicles.
The contract is worth approximately $1.4 billion, of which nearly $200 million is covered by the American side as part of its assistance funds allocated to Poland. The U.S. has also agreed to sell ammunition to Poland, including depleted uranium rounds.
Next year, the first tanks of the latest version will also arrive. Last April, Poland ordered 250 of the most advanced M1A21 SEPv3 Abrams tanks for $4.7 billion, which should be delivered between 2024 and 2026.