Monday, July 25, 2022

Polish tanks PT-91 Twardy are in Ukraine

 There are already Polish PT-91 Twardy (Hard) tanks in Ukraine, provided as part of military aid - said Andriy Yermak, the head of the Chancellery of the President of Ukraine.

In practice, this means the beginning of the next stage of military aid for Kyiv. Previously, Poland donated to Ukraine over 200 T-72M / M1 / M1R tanks, which have undergone modifications in Poland.

The delivery of Twardy tanks marks the commencement of the next stage of military aid for Kyiv. It is currently unknown how many of these tanks will be handed over to the Ukrainian army. The Polish Army had a total of 232 such vehicles, used mainly by the 16th Pomeranian Mechanized Division and the 12th Szczecin Mechanized Division. The military contingent in Latvia is also equipped in Twardys, recently deployed by the 21st Podhale Rifle Brigade. The Ministry of National Defense (MON) did not comment on the details of its involvement in helping Ukraine.

It is known, however, that the MON is taking intensive measures to fill the hardware gaps related to helping Ukraine. The delivery of 116 Abrams tanks has already been agreed with the United States (in addition to the 250 new M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams purchased in April). This week, a contract for the supply of 180 K2 tanks in the existing version from the Republic of Korea is to be signed. In the next step, the Polish Armed Forces will receive several hundred tanks in the K2PL version, developed as part of international industrial cooperation, and the existing K2 will be modernized.

It is worth noting, however, that only the purchases of Abrams and the existing K2s include a total of 546 tanks. This figure is close to the total number of T-72 and the PT-91 (318 + 232 = 550) slated for modernization before the war.

The MON wants to restore the combat capabilities of the units of the armored force on the new equipment as soon as possible, and their "loss" was limited in time to the period in which the Russian army was involved in the war in Ukraine and/or restores its capabilities after the war.

Delivering even some Twardy tanks to Ukraine should significantly strengthen its combat capabilities, as such vehicles will be easier to control (and even more importantly, to operate) than Western vehicles. It remains to be hoped that the MON will manage to introduce their successors to the equipment of the Armored Forces quickly enough.