A Blog by Jonathan Low

 

Jul 26, 2022

Poland Reinforces Ukraine Support By Sending Even More Modern Tanks

Poland has proven to be one of Ukraine's staunchest allies, having donated hundreds of armored vehicles as well as humanitarian aid. 

Understanding well the seriousness of the Russian threat, Poland has just given Ukraine another set of its most modern main battle tanks. JL 

Peter Suciu reports in 19fortyfive:

Poland has become one of the staunchest supporters of Ukraine and has continued to provide military and humanitarian aid. last week, Poland transferred PT-91 Twardy ("Hard") main battle tanks. Poland previously donated 240 modernized T-72 tanks to Ukraine along with more than 100 armored personnel carriers to help counter Russia’s armed aggression. To replace its own armored fleet, Warsaw ordered 250 new Abrams MBTs and 116 older-generation Abrams tanks from the United States, while it has also applied to lease 180 K2 tanks from South Korea.Poland has become one of the staunchest supporters of Ukraine and has continued to provide military and humanitarian aid. What makes this especially noteworthy is that the two people have a long and very complex history – dating back to the 16th century when much of Ukraine fell under the control of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and later became part of the Crown of the King of the Kingdom of Poland.

By the end of the 18th century, both Poland and Ukraine were under foreign control, with the former essentially disappearing from the map of Europe, while the latter was essentially a Russian-controlled territory. Then briefly after the First World War, the two fought over disputed territory – before Ukraine was absorbed into the Soviet Union. Fast forward to today, and both the Poles and Ukrainians remember being under the thumb of Moscow – which is why it is clear that Warsaw has gone to great lengths to aid its neighbors in Kyiv.

Polish Tanks Rolling to Ukraine

Just last week, Poland transferred a batch of PT-91 Twardy main battle tanks (MBT). Based on the Soviet-designed T-72, the PT-91 first entered service in 1995. It featured enhanced indigenously-developed ERAWA explosive reactive armor blocks, which improved the tank’s protection by 30 to 70 percent depending on the type of ammunition used.

In addition, the Twardy (Polish for “Hard”) is armed with a 125mm main gun, similar to the main armament of the T-72. Also, like the Soviet-made tank, it is fitted with an autoloader, but with a new gun stabilization system and improved fire control. Secondary armament consists of a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun and a roof-mounted 12.7mm (.50 caliber) machine gun. The PT-91 has a crew of three including the commander, gunner, and driver.

Poland had produced some 220 of the MBTs in three models, and it is unclear exactly how many have been donated to date and how many more Kyiv might expect. Yet, by some accounts, Poland could send its entire fleet to help Ukraine.

“The shortage of tanks that emerges in Poland after the transfer to Ukraine of more than 200 T-72 tanks and a certain number of PT-91 Twardy tanks, whose number I can’t name, will be fully compensated, even with a surplus,” said Krzysztof Platek, spokesman of the Armaments Agency of the Ministry of Defense of Poland, on the “Wow – Wolski o Wojnie” YouTube channel.

The transfer was confirmed by Andriy Yermak (@AndriyYermak), spokesperson for the office of the President of Ukraine, who tweeted, “Polish PT-91 Twardy MBTs are in Ukraine. A friend in need is a friend indeed. Jesteśmy bardzo wdzięczni naszym polskim przyjaciołom. (We are very grateful to our Polish friends.)”

Polish PT-91 Twardy MBTs are in Ukraine. A friend in need is a friend indeed. Jesteśmy bardzo wdzięczni naszym polskim przyjaciołom. pic.twitter.com/CatWwQSa8b

— Andriy Yermak (@AndriyYermak) July 25, 2022

Poland had previously donated a batch of 240 modernized T-72 tanks to Ukraine along with more than 100 armored personnel carriers to help counter Russia’s armed aggression. To replace its own armored fleet, Warsaw ordered 250 new Abrams MBTs and 116 older-generation Abrams tanks from the United States, while it has also applied to lease 180 K2 tanks from South Korea.Even as Warsaw is seeking to aid Kyiv, it appears it wants to ensure it maintains the means to fend off an invasion from Russia.

2 comments:

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