Poland Will Have a Large and Modern Tank Army

A Foreign Military Sales order from the U.S. Army worth up to $1.148 billion will deliver 250 M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams main battle tanks to Poland by 2025. Poland has ordered 980 South Korean K2 Black Panther tanks, 648 K-9 Krab self-propelled howitzers, and 48 FA-50 advanced trainer/light fighter aircraft. Poland will import the first batch of 180 K2PL tanks, with another 800 manufactured in Poland, under the name “Wilk” (“Wolf”).

The K2PL has modern armor and a Korean Active Protection System for intercepting incoming rockets and anti-tank missiles. K2PL weighs 55 tons. The M1 Abrams is 68 tons.

The first 48 K9 howitzers, made by Hanwha Defense, are also expected to arrive this year, with delivery of a second batch of 600 due to start in 2024. From 2025 these will be produced in Poland.

The Korean order only costs about $5.7 billion. There will also be the costs of operating a larger army with more soldiers and keeping soldiers trained.

Poland is increasing defence spending to 5% of GDP. It will spend about $29 billion and 3% of GDP in 2023 but will increase to 5%. Poland is doubling the size of its army to 250,000.

The FA-50 jet, produced by Korea Aerospace Industries in association with US defense giant Lockheed Martin, is a supersonic light combat aircraft. It is used for ground attack and some air-to-air missions. FA-50 has been used by the South Korean Air Force since 2013. It is armed with Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, Maverick air-to-ground missiles, and a three-barreled 30mm cannon for strafing runs. It can also use precision-guided and gravity bombs.

Russia had 2,800 tanks in active service but has lost about 1000 in Ukraine. Russia has another 10,000 older tanks in storage, but these have been shown to be vulnerable, badly maintained and mostly useless. The U.S. Army has 6,333 tanks, with about half of those in active service. China has an estimated 5,800 tanks. North Korea has about 5800 tanks.

Turkey has about 3000 tanks. Turkey has a large military force of about 775,000.

South Korea’s army has 2500 tanks.

As Russia has shown in Ukraine, it is important how modern the tanks are and if their active missile defense systems work or not.

Germany only has about 400 some tanks but they are also producing new tanks.

Global military spending passed $2 trillion for the first time in 2021. Increased military spending in Europe and Asia will likely push world military spending to $2.5 to $3 trillion over the next few years.

24 thoughts on “Poland Will Have a Large and Modern Tank Army”

  1. Brian, the FA-50 light jet has a 20 mm gun, not 30 mm. It’s a reduced, 3-barrel version of the 6-barrel M61 20mm Vulcan used on some American fighters. The FA-50 is small and light – too light to be sporting a 30 mm gun. Fighters all tend to have 20, 23, or 25 mm guns.

  2. If things get to a point where the Russians are invading Polish territory, then they will be using tac nukes. The tanks the Poles have or don’t have in that case will be pointless.

    • So, using your logic, Poland shouldn’t have any other War time forces readily available other than Nukes to counter with. Makes a lot of sense (yeh … right). You are an idiot.

  3. Tyrant dreaming of empire, invading neighboring countries with the objective of ethnically cleansing them? Poland has seen that movie before, and they didn’t like the ending.

    • I doubt that Putin or Russia has any interest in “ethnically cleansing” Poland or other countries. Certainly not by invading them and slaughtering them. That’s a wildly unrealistic model of human motivation, especially their motivation. Putin is strategic, and he doesn’t have some weird racial obsession that would motivate “cleansing”.

      It would also never be remotely possible for Russia to do that, and they know this, which means they’d never try it, even if they for some reason wanted to (which they don’t).

      Poland not liking the ending from before wouldn’t matter anyway, since not liking an ending is irrelevant to preventing its recurrence… They failed before, so the question is would they fail again? Probably not, since Russia is much less powerful, relatively speaking, than Nazi Germany was. They might be able to take Poland in a vacuum, in a best case scenario, but it would be much harder than it was for Germany. They don’t have a powerful enough military anymore to be successfully serially invading neighbors. They need a lot more inventory, and probably more manpower. The Soviet Union had a much larger population, was fully militarized, and of course had the Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltics as part of itself.

      But they can’t invade a NATO member and staunch US ally. Their military would be destroyed within a month. Their air force would be gone in two weeks. There’s too much of a US overmatch in air power with the fifth-gen full-stealth fighters, even though the F-22 fleet is woefully small. But the overmatch opened up even before, when we reached full deployment of fourth-gen fighters and kept them properly maintained, along with periodically upgrading them. Their fourth-gen fleet deteriorated, and shrunk even more than ours. Germany’s Typhoons would do a lot of damage to the Russian air force even without our help.

  4. The most likely outcome of the war is Russia keeps the east and south, Romania and Hungary take the south-west, Poland takes the middle, Ukraine keeps the Kiev area, and someone else takes the northern areas.

    Ukraine will disintegrate the next time there is a republican president, if not before.

    Putin will die and then you will get a real hard liner.
    Zelenski will be assassinated by the Nazis.

  5. Good for Poland!

    But I thought Ukraine is crushing Russia? If so, it is needlessly arming itself. Maybe they know something CNN and ISW don’t.

    Is Poland arming itself to protect against Ukraine aggression? Or maybe getting ready to protect the Polish west part of Ukraine? Can’t forget that Banderas is idolized by Zinkey the donkey and his minions.

    Oh, it is all so confusing…
    The one certainty is that I feel sympathy for all the Ukrainian peoples. It is just like the Hatfields and McCoys, except on a much bigger, technical scale.

  6. Quite unlikely and I doubt, Your sources are reliable….
    Poland lies directly next to Germany, so it is obvious, that they would order the panther’s new models.

      • Poland has been trying to buy more Leopard II’s for a while. They seem to have given up when they went for M1A2 Abrams. Now- they are really going all in on the new tech. Hopefully the K2 is all its supposed to be.

    • Germans refused to sell anything to Poland, and previous cooperation between those two was very bad for Warsaw. Germans notoriously make buyers wait, deliver little and obsolete equipment, and make their clients completely dependent on their industry, creating deals that are shaped so that competition in the client state will be destroyed. A very famous example of that was what they had done with military shipyards they bought from Sweden, utterly dismantling them via passive-aggressive tactics of “there are no new orders so we have to scale down employment and infrastructure” until the Swedish government stepped in and pull the plug on the deal, basically brekaing it and saying to Belrin that it can f-off. Since Germans cooperated with Russians prior to the current war and are directly responsible for it, they have shown to be an unreliable partner. And it’s nothing new, this is the situation that lasted for the past 20 years. Germany also refused to supply Ukraine with arms, and is actively sabotaging the war effort. In Poland’s eyes, Germany is a revisionist, imperial power that uses soft tools like EU law, economy, and corruption to get what it wants at expense of its neighbors-of which Poland is only part. The war was started with Berlin’s blessing, its aim was to push out Americans from the continent as suppliers of security, and energy deals that Germany had with Russia made their old industry competitive with some help of EU-law regulations that destroyed South and East of EU industrially. If nto for an alliance with Russia, Berlin would have to go through very painful reforms, since their economy is ludicrously out of touch with XXI century despite its undeniable advantages in some areas. It is uncertain to what degree this is the result of the very long-running corruption of German elites by Soviet and later Russian agents and propaganda, of which lucrative business deals and bribes of Putin are just the newest iteration of (because in reality most of what Gemrnay was doing in the last 20 years was against its national interest which begs the question). Therefore to rely on Berlin in regards to military hardware is foolishness of the highest degree. According to analysts from that region, the Ukrainian war had given Poland around 10 years at best to prepare for a war with Russia; because in no scenario it is expected that Russia will cease to be an autocratic, aggressive power because it structurally cannto afford not to be one, its not question of ambition, political elites or mindset. Ukraine will also not be able to defeat Russia so utterly that it will cease to be danger even if it will go back to pre-2014 borders before Crimea annexation. This is due to the global situation in regards to the decrease of West power and the increase of Asia power, particularly China. This dynamic, even if there is no official alliance ebtween Russia-China is very unfavorable and makes war in Ukraine just aproxy war between US-China. As result, the USA has given Warsaw an ultimatum in unofficial talks that either it will be able to defend itself on the ground by 2025, or the US is out since it will be able to supply only air support and intel-it has too few resources that it needs to contain China, and cannot be engaged on European continent anymore. A lot of other countries of the region have asked Germans to supply them with weapons, and they were met with the same response as Poland. Warsaw by signing deals with Koreans with Washington’s blessing hopes that korean-polish companies will be supplying the entire central-eastern region with arms in the foreseeable future, solving that problem. The truth is, that Germans are in alliance with Russia.

  7. aside from the tanks, Poland’s entire land force seems to be juicing up. They are also currently seeking to purchase 500 HIMARS, which would probably put them top-10 in the world in MLRS if it goes through & gets produced. & seeking to purchase 3 more divisions (6 batteries) of Patriot missile systems. That’s on top of the 2 new Patriot batteries that should be delivered this year (purchased in 2018).

    They have a ways to go to be the powerhouse that South Korea is, but they might approach that within the next couple decades, at least for land forces. In 2050, Poland could be looking like the ‘South Korea’ of Europe if it can continue to slowly fix it’s low fertility rate.

    • On the contrary, having a very low fertility rate makes them MORE like South Korea.
      Not saying that’s a good thing…

  8. The funny part about the K2 tanks, is that they are functionally a german Leopard 2A4 variant, but with an autoloader stolen from the french Leclerc tank (allegedly the makers said they got the info they needed from youtube videos…)

  9. The precarious geopolitical situation (the risk of a sudden withdrawal of U.S. troops to the Asian theater of warfare with the practically disarmed armies of Western European countries) and, in addition, the constant risk of Russian aggression, forces Poland to act preemptively. We have returned to a world where real military power counts at the end of the day. This winter will decide the geopolitical future of Europe and, by extension, the world. The future of the Euro-Atlantic world will be decided. Different scenarios are on the table, so Poland is preparing for different variants of developments in order to defend its sovereignty and remain a subject and not an object of the policies of the world powers.

  10. Poland will be a porcupine indeed. Won’t be horses charging armor this time. Super Tucano turbo prop attack planes could support that armor too. Ukraine should cede the Donbas, rebuild, and figure out how to exist without irritating the bear more.

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