Take a look at Poland's fast-expanding military that aims to become Europe's 'largest land force'
Nathan RennoldsSep 10, 2023, 15:24 IST
Forecasts show that Poland, which joined NATO in 1999, is due to spend 3.9% of its GDP on defense this year — almost double the NATO target of 2%.
Only 11 member states are meeting that 2% target, Reuters reported.
Finland, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia have all boosted their spending above 2%, highlighting rising security concerns in Europe.
Poland signed two deals worth $6 billion to buy about 350 M1 Abrams tanks from the US.
The M1 is armed with a 120mm cannon, a .50 caliber machine gun, and a 7.62 mm machine gun.
The US State Department also approved Poland's $12 billion purchase of 96 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters.
Apache helicopters are fitted with an M230 30-mm cannon, Hydra-70 2.75-inch rockets, and Hellfire missiles.
It's also spending $10 billion on 18 HIMARS launchers.
HIMARS are long-range missile launchers with a range of just over 180 miles. They can carry six GMLRS rockets or one TACMS missile.
Poland has also ordered 1,000 K2 Black Panther tanks from South Korea.
The tank's main armament is a 120mm smoothbore gun, which can fire about 10 rounds a minute. It also has a Browning M2 .50 machine gun and a 7.62mm machine gun, per 19FortyFive.
Poland also has nearly 700 K9 Howitzers.
The 155mm self-propelled gun has a range of almost 25 miles.
It's part of a deal that could be worth up to $14 billion for South Korea to send Poland artillery, tanks, and aircraft, including the FA-50 fighter jet.
The two-seater fighter jet can hit supersonic speeds. It's equipped with a 20mm three-barreled gun and can carry the AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air and the AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missiles.
MIG-29 and FA-50 aircraft take part in a display to celebrate Polish Army Day in Warsaw in August. It was the biggest such event in years and was intended to send a message to Moscow about Poland's defense capabilities.