US upgrades Polish Abrams M1 with new FMS turret armor packages

WASHINGTON, US — Poland will receive Abrams M1A1 tanks from the US with their desired modernization and configuration. A video shared online shows a military train filmed on the BNSF railroad in Fresno. The train is loaded with American Abrams M1A1 tanks, and the video was shot in January.

US upgrades Polish Abrams M1 with new FMS turret armor packages
Video screenshot

According to the tweeter, the train was traveling to Lima’s tank plant. At the plant, the entire amount of tanks loaded on the train will be upgraded to the FEP version. FEP is the Polish version of the tanks ordered from Warsaw. The upgrade includes new FMS turret armor packages.

According to the Firepower Enhancement Program (FEP), the Abrams M1 tanks receive improved day and night fighting capabilities. The program envisages increasing the range of detection and destruction of targets. All this Abrams has to do in all weather conditions.

The main component of the program is the integration of a new thermal sight. It improves the tank crew’s ability to perform better detection, identification, and recognition while having an increased field of view [FOV].

The M1A1 FEP must provide target acquisition ranges during on-the-go operation, vehicle engine idling, and silent operations viewed through the gunner’s primary monocular sight.

Poland placed an order with the USA for the purchase of 250 M1A2 SEP v3 version tanks. According to preliminary analyses, the first tanks will have to arrive no earlier than 2025. Poland will also need to receive another 116 Abrams M1A1 FEP tanks. They are a consequence of the donation that Warsaw made to Kyiv, providing the Ukrainian armed forces with 200 T-72 tanks.

The first batch of Abrams M1A1 FEP has already arrived in Poland, but it is small and symbolic. This happened last year. Poland will receive Abrams M1A1 FEP tanks in various batches. However, the first larger batch of the 116 Abrams M1A1 FEP tanks is expected soon.

Warsaw undertook a large-scale modernization of its army. Poland currently has 247 Leopard 2 tanks. The Abrams will complement Poland’s tank inventory. However, Warsaw did not limit itself to American tanks. Last year, Poland ordered 1,000 tanks of South Korea’s best-in-class K2 Black Panther tank.

See the Polish Black Panther tanks - they've already arrived
Photo credit: Jarosław Ciślak

At the end of last year, Poland received the first 10 Black Panther tanks. They were officially presented in the Polish port of Gdynia. According to the agreement, South Korea will manufacture and deliver a small part of the tank order, while the majority will be produced in Poland.


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