Poland tests AS21 IFV and Abrams tank ‘against Russian attack’

WARSAW ($1=4.85 Polish Zlotys) — Poland has begun tests of the Korean AS21 Redback infantry fighting vehicle. The tests are carried out in the 18th mechanized division, which is equipped with American Abrams tanks. I.e. the Polish army wants to check the compatibility of the Abrams with the Korean infantry fighting vehicle.

Poland tests AS21 IFV and Abrams tank 'against Russian attack'
Photo credit: Twitter

There is a good reason for the AS21 Redback to be “shoulder to shoulder” with the American tank, says Maj. Gen. Yaroslav Gromadzinski, Deputy Commander of the International Assistance Team for Ukraine. The 18th Mechanized Division of the Polish Army is operating in an area that will be the first to react to a Russian attack through Belarus. “The 18th Division will have to strike first,” the Polish general explained.

General Gromadzinski explains that because of the Ukraine situation, Poland must decide “now, tonight.” I.e. It would be easier for Warsaw to acquire the Korean AS21 Redbacks in the event of tensions escalating and drawing Poland into war, rather than relying on Polish-made Borsuk IFVs.

The Borsuk IFV is just entering serial production, and Poland must have the equipment to respond to a possible Russian attack at any moment. This is why the Abrams and AS21 Redback are currently being tested. They will be the backbone of the Polish defense if Russia and Belarus try to break through the region known as “the gate of Brest, through Podlasie to Warmia and Masuria”.

However, the Polish general did not “write off” the Polish armored vehicle. On the contrary, Poland will rely on the Borsuk IFV after placing a large order, but Poland does not really have a heavy, mobile, flexible, and highly maneuverable infantry fighting vehicle at the current moment.

Poland tests AS21 IFV and Abrams tank 'against Russian attack'
Photo credit: Polska Zbrojna

In Poland, some criticized Warsaw’s decision to purchase the Korean AS21 Redbacks. Criticism has been directed mainly at the fact that South Korea and Poland are separated by a significant distance and delivery “may be difficult”. Major General Yaroslav Gromadzinski doesn’t think that way. He again recalled that Poland will produce a large part of this equipment on the local territory. This means that only the first shipments will be transported from South Korea.

“At some point, if Korea is in trouble, we can become its supplier,” Gromadzinski continued. “In my opinion, we have a strategic partner with whom we can complement our resources in the event of an emergency,” he added. The Polish officer confirmed that the Soviet-designed weapon donated to Ukraine had to be replaced at some point. The fact that it is largely out of the Polish army’s inventory has opened the door to a massive military modernization that has been planned for years.

Gen. Gromadzinski also shed more light on the future of the Polish Borsuk infantry armored vehicle. “The defense must be multi-layered. Abrams and AS21 Redback will take the biggest hit in a Russian attack, so this configuration should do the trick. Other divisions will be overwhelmed with Korean K2 Black Panther tanks and the local Borsuk IFV,” said the Polish military officer.

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