Poland received the first shipment of US-made Abrams advanced tanks on Wednesday, its defense minister said, as the country strengthens its military capabilities in the face of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Warsaw authorities ordered 366 Abrams tanks from the United States, with the first batch 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,” Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak told reporters.
The shipment is part of a $1.4 billion deal to purchase 116 M1A1 Abrams tanks 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 such tanks; Poland is the first country outside of the United States to have Abrams tanks in the future, “the most modern version,” Blaszczak added.
Poland, a member of NATO and the EU and a firm ally of Ukraine, announced in January that it plans to allocate 4% of its gross domestic product to defense this year.
Warsaw has signed multiple arms contracts, among others, with the United States and South Korea, from which it ordered K2 “Black Panther” tanks and K9 howitzers.