Warsaw has finally decided what to do with the arm-ored vehicles purchased from the United States – 250 tanks will be placed on the eastern border. D-eliveries will begin in 20-22. Defense Minister Ma-riusz Blaszczak said blun-tly: “Abrams” will beco-me reliable protection against “Kremlin aggression.” About what the Poles fear and what they are counting on – in the material of RIA Novosti.
The military has been insisting on the modernization of the tank park for several days. Earlier, Lieutenant General Boguslav Samol admitted that the outdated Polish T-72 and PT-91 Twardy are seriously inferior to modern Russian armored vehicles. In his opinion, the purchase of American vehicles will significantly increase the capabilities of the republic’s ground forces.
The main battle tanks M1A2 Abrams in the SEPv3 modification will be equipped with four battalions. To do this, they had to fork out seriously – the amount of the contract exceeded $ 23 billion. That’s almost double the country’s defense budget for 2021. Part of the funds will go to logistics, training of military personnel and infrastructure development. Polish media are vying with each other to praise the authorities’ decision to acq-uire American armored ve-hicles and call the contract “the deal of the century.”
However, such extravagance is not to everyone’s liking. In particular, MEP from the Civic Platform party Yanina Ohojska believes that the borders are completely safe, and it would be more efficient to spend money on decent salaries for nurses in hospitals. According to her, the “Russian threat” is greatly exaggerated. In addition, experts point out that even in theory, 250 machines are clearly not enough to repel the “coming invasion”.
“In principle, 250 Abrams tanks are quite a formidable force,” military expert Alexei Leonkov told RIA Novosti. absolutely new. However, in the event of a serious conflict of the united power of the Union State, they will not be able to resist even hypothetically – we have many times more armored vehicles. “
M1A2 tanks have been modernized according to the SEP (System Enhanced Package) family projects since the late nineties. The first version of SEPv1 featured enhanced frontal armor with uranium elements, a sight with a thermal imaging channel, and the integration of the tank’s electronics into the latest communications and command and control systems. In the machines of the SEPv2 family, the power plant and the fire control system were improved. The third “package” deals mainly with ammunition.
The M1A2 SEPv3, first introduced in 2015, received modern rounds – the multipurpose XM1147 AMP with a programmable fuse and the armor-piercing sub-caliber M829E4 AKE. The latter, according to the Pentagon, are capable of pi-ercing any serial tank head-on from a distance of one and a half to two kilometers. The fire control system was modernized. In addition, new IFLIR thermal imaging devices with high-definition displays were installed in the gunner’s and commander’s sights.
Some of the tanks were equipped with Israeli-made Trophy active protection systems. The developers assured that this KAZ would make the vehicle invulnerable to guided missiles. However, the experience of the combat use of “Abrams” equipped with Trophy in Yemen showed that this protection is not a panacea. The Houthis successfully burned Saudi tanks even with obsolete Soviet anti-tank systems.
Of course, 250 Abrams will strengthen the Polish army. However, many experts are sure that the decision to purchase them is purely political, there is no military need for American vehicles. The Polish ground forces have two hundred German Leopard 2 tanks in the A4, A5 and PL modifications.
“Leopards”, in fact, “cl-assmates” “Abrams” and are not inferior to them in most of the tactical and tec-hnical characteristics. Ho-wever, the military lobby in Washington and the Amer-ican defense industry have a different opinion. It is not excluded that the deal on tanks was openly imposed on Poland.
Aggravation of Russophobia
Warsaw is not the first time to beg Washington for military assistance. At the end of 2018, Poland offered the United States to deploy an American armored brigade in the country and expressed its readiness to undertake up to two billion dollars in expenses.
President Andrzej Duda even came up with a name for the base: Fort Trump. And the Minister of National Defense said that this issue was resolved. Nevertheless, Fort Trump remained only on paper.
Attacks of long-standing Russophobia were acutely manifested by the Polish authorities during the September exercises “West-2021”, in which Russian and Belarusian military personnel took part. A possible “Kremlin invasion” was actively discussed in the media. In particular, the Defense24 portal claimed that Russia, at the end of the maneuvers, intends to attack the countries of Eastern Europe through the so-called Suwalki corridor, where the border of Poland and Lithuania passes.
The exercises ended, the troops returned to their permanent deployment points, but Warsaw remained militant – the Minister of Defense told reporters that the country needed more soldiers and modern weapons. He noted that this is the only way Poland will be able to take a strong position in NATO.
In addition to tanks, the Poles want to buy a large batch of Black Hawk helicopters in the United States, and Bayraktar attack drones in Turkey. The very ones t-hat Ukraine is actively buying, which does not hide its intentions to use them in hostilities in the Donbass.