US approves $4B sale of Abrams tanks to NATO ally Poland

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Tuesday approved a nearly $4 billion sale of advanced tanks, other combat vehicles and a large amount of assorted weaponry to NATO ally Poland at a time of heightened security concerns because of the war in neighboring Ukraine.

The State Department said it had given the OK for Poland to purchase 116 M1A1 Abrams Battle Tanks and other equipment, including tens of thousands of rounds of various ammunition, worth approximately $3.75 billion.

At the same time, the department said it had also approved a $1.5 billion sale of Chinook helicopters to treaty ally South Korea.

The department said both sales were in support of U.S. national security interests and would not alter the basic military balance in either region, which are facing threats from Russia and North Korea.

The Abrams tank purchase by Poland “will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a NATO ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in Europe,” the department said in a statement.

It added that the tanks and other equipment would “improve Poland’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing a credible force that is capable of deterring adversaries and participating in NATO operations.”

The sale of the Chinook helicopters to South Korea will improve Seoul's “capability to meet current and future threats by strengthening its army heavy lift capability,” the department said in a separate statement.

The choppers “will allow (South Korea) to conduct missions in support of bilateral operational plans which include, but are not limited to, medical evacuation, search and rescue, parachute drops, and disaster relief,” it said.