Poland’s Tank Fleet: An Overview of the Different Types in Army

Poland’s tank fleet is an essential aspect of its military arsenal. With so many different types of tanks in service, it’s important to understand their capabilities and limitations. Unfortunately, not all of the tanks that Poland currently has at its disposal are up to date with the demands of modern warfare.

Estimates say, that Poland has around 792 tanks. However, it’s crucial for Poland to focus not just on increasing the number of tanks but also on ensuring that the tanks in service are of the highest quality.

Tank Types in Poland’s Army

The Polish Armed Forces currently have the following tanks in their inventory:

  • Leopard 2 – 249 units
  • PT-91 „Hard” – 232 units
  • T-72 – at least 301 units
  • K2 Black Panther – few

Leopard 2 Tank

The Leopard 2 is a tank that’s been around for a while. It was originally designed for the German army back in 1979, but it took a full 20 years for it to see action in combat during the KFOR operation in Kosovo.

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Since then, over 3,600 Leopard 2 tanks have been built. The design of this tank can be split into two main versions: the original version and an upgraded version, the 2A5, which has better armor and a few changes in the design.

As for Poland, we currently have 142 units in the original 2A4 version and 105 of the upgraded 2A5 version. The government is also upgrading older 2A4 tanks to the Leopard 2PL. This upgrade contract is worth a PLN 3.29 billion and is set to be completed in 2023.

When it comes to tank specs, the Leopard 2 is a 4-passenger vehicle that can handle all types of weather, day or night. It’s big, measuring up to 10.9 meters in length for the 2A6 version. It can speed up to 68 km/h and reverse at 31 km/h. It can also handle contaminated and irradiated terrain.

Armament of the Leopard 2 Tank

The Leopard 2’s main weapon is a Rheinmetall 120mm L/44 smoothbore cannon. It also has two machine guns for good measure. All models of the tank come with a digital fire guidance system. This fancy technology allows the tank to effectively target and fire even when driving over rough terrain. We may say it is a game-changer on the battlefield.

Leopard 2PL – Polish version of the German tank

The Leopard 2PL version is an upgraded version of the 2A4, it comes with a number of new features that make it even more powerful on the battlefield. The 2PL version has upgraded observation and targeting instruments, an improved commander and gunner station, additional ballistic shielding for the turret, and a new hydraulic stabilization of the cannon and turret drive that replaces the older, electric version. It also has a fire and explosion suppression system for added safety.

The 2PL version is also equipped with a new vehicle control system, an additional power unit, and towing and evacuation equipment that’s been adapted to the tank’s higher weight of 59 tons. The cannon has been upgraded to handle different types of ammunition, and the tank also comes with a day-and-night reversing camera for the driver.

When it comes to size, the 2PL version is 9.6 meters long, 3 meters high, 3.7 meters wide, and can overcome obstacles 1.1 meters high. It can also cross water obstacles up to 3 meters deep and has a wading depth of 2.25 meters. The tank has a maximum range of 500km on the road and about 300km off-road.

Not only Poland Has Leopards

It’s not just the Polish army that’s using the Leopard 2 tanks, many other countries around the world have also adopted them into their military fleets. Currently, the armies of Austria, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and Germany all use the capabilities of the Leopard 2 tanks.

PT-91 „Twardy” tank

The next tank in our army is PT-91 ”Twardy”. Just for you to know – „Twardy” means „hard”. It was developed on the basis of the Soviet T-72. It differs from the prototype primarily by the new DRAWA fire control system and the specific ERAWA re-active armor. The machine is armed with a 125mm 2A46 Rapira-3 smoothbore cannon, a machine gun and an anti-aircraft machine gun. Apart from Poland, ’’Twardy” tank is also used by the Malaysian Army.


The most popular tank in our army is the Soviet T-72. This tank was produced between the 1970s and the mid-1990s, with more than 20,000 units manufactured in total. They are still in use by a number of armies of the world. Among others, they are in the service is Belarus, India, Iran, Russia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine or Venezuela.

The tank is armed with a 125mm smoothbore cannon, a machine gun, an anti-aircraft machine gun and smoke grenade launchers. These machines participated in many conflicts. They witnessed the Iran-Iraq War and the 1991 Gulf War. They are also used today in Ukraine.

K2 Black Panther

The agreement between Poland and Korea covers the purchase of a total of 1,000 K2 Black Panther tanks with its Polish development version K2PL. They will come along with vehicles such as technical protection vehicles, engineering support vehicles, and bridges. There are also some other elements based on Polish solutions. The deal also includes a comprehensive training and logistics package, ammunition stock, and technical support from the manufacturer.

The tanks will be delivered in two phases, with the first 180 K2 tanks scheduled to arrive between 2022-2025. Deliveries of 820 K2PL tanks will begin in 2026. The production of K2’s in Poland is planned to start the same year.

The K2 tank’s armor provides high ballistic and mine resistance, which can be further supplemented by active soft kill (VIRSS) and hard kill (KAPS) protection systems. It is powered by a 1,500-hp diesel engine with an automatic transmission. The tank has low weight of 55 tons and uses hydropneumatic suspension. It is widely considered as one of the most advanced tanks in the world.

Recent Acquisitions and Upgrades

The Polish Armed Forces are on a mission to increase their armored capabilities. Part of the plan was the purchase of 250 M1A2 SEPv3 version Abrams tanks from the US.

In July 2022, the first M1A2 SEPv2 rented tanks from the US Army arrived in Poland to train tank crews and technicians at the Abrams Academy in Biedrusk, which is part of the Land Forces Training Center in Poznań. This loan of 28 vehicles is a prelude to the arrival of the first vehicles, as part of the April 5 contract for the purchase of 250 M1A2 SEPv3 tanks.

The Polish Armed Forces have other plans for their tank fleet. They’re also continuing ongoing programs to modify T-72M/M1 tanks to the T-72M1R standard, and upgrade Leopard 2A4 tanks to the Leopard 2PL standard.

By the way, I guess you will also be interested in my other article in which I talk about the aircraft which is available in Polish Air Force. Please check: Exploring the Polish Air Force’s Fleet: Complete List of Planes

Poland’s Tank Industry

One of the crucial elements is to ensure that the country has the best possible protection. In this regard, Bumar, the Polish company that specializes in tank production for 70 years, is worth a closer look.

Bumar has a long history of producing tanks in Poland and is the only company in the country that focuses exclusively on this type of equipment. In fact, every tank produced in Poland post-World War II, has been built at this plant. It is evident that the team at Bumar has a deep understanding and expertise in tank production.

With such experience, one would expect Bumar to be the natural choice for building new K2 Black Panther tanks for the Polish Armed Forces. However, the government has decided to produce the new Korean K2 tanks at the Poznan Military Automotive Works instead. It is only the production of howitzers that is planned to take place in BUMAR, which raises questions about the decision-making process.

Training and Preparation

Polish soldiers are getting up close and personal with the new K2 Black Panther tanks. They recently traveled to South Korea to learn all about these bad boys. The tanks are set to join the Polish Army later this year and will also be used for training at the Training Center in Poznań. The soldiers aren’t just learning about the new tanks, they’re also getting hands-on training with American Abrams tanks in Poznań.

As I already mentioned, the 28 Abrams tanks in Poznań have been loaned to the Polish Army by the US for training purposes. Along with learning to drive and operate the tanks, the soldiers will also learn how to handle the technical security vehicles, like the Hercules.


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