The high-profile signing ceremony in Warsaw, led by Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak and attended by the US deputy chief of mission in Poland, Daniel Lawton, came after the US Congress last month cleared the sale of 116 M1A1 Abrams battle tanks and related equipment to Poland, according to officials.
The Polish defence minister told those at Wednesday's ceremony that the US-made tanks would help his country "effectively deter a potential aggressor" by "strengthening the Polish army and its deterrence potential."
Those attending the ceremony in Warsaw's Wesoła district included US Brig. Gen. John Lubas, deputy commander of the 101st Airborne Division, elements of which are stationed in southeastern Poland close to the border with Ukraine, news outlets reported.
Błaszczak, who is also a deputy prime minister, added that the deal would boost Poland's security and "will also increase the security of the entire eastern flank of NATO."
The US Department of State last month approved the sale of 116 M1A1 Abrams battle tanks and related equipment to Poland for an estimated cost of USD 3.75 billion, according to an announcement at the time.
The Polish defence minister announced in July last year that his country had reached an agreement with the United States to buy 116 Abrams tanks to replace equipment provided to war-torn Ukraine.
He told the media at the time that the deal would enable Poland to restock its tank arsenal after the country sent more than 240 modified T-72 machines to help Ukraine battle Russia's invasion.
Poland in April 2022 signed a USD 4.74 billion deal to buy 250 M1A2 Abrams tanks from the United States in what officials hailed as a key step in boosting the country’s defences amid Russia's war against Ukraine.
F-35, HIMARS, Patriot
Poland’s government in January 2020 signed a USD 4.6 billion deal to buy 32 state-of-the-art F-35 fighter jets from the United States in what officials hailed as a new era for the Polish air force and a key step in boosting the country’s defences.
In February 2019, Poland signed a deal to buy 20 HIMARS artillery rocket systems from America for USD 414 million as part of a military modernisation drive.
Poland in March 2018 signed what officials described as a historic deal to buy an American Patriot air defence system for USD 4.75 billion.
Source: IAR, PAP