Romania is considering acquiring a battalion of M1 Abrams tanks from the US amid increasing threats in the region due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The information was revealed by the country’s national armaments director, Maj. Gen. Teodor Incicaș, during an interview with defense ministry publication Observatorul Militar.
According to Incicaş, the armored vehicle is the best choice to strengthen Bucharest’s combat capabilities.
“We are in the process of sending our request for preliminary approval to acquire a battalion of Abrams tanks,” he said.
It is unclear what variant and how many Abrams tanks will be purchased, but local media reported that Romania could acquire as many as 54.
Once delivered, the vehicles are expected to replace some of the country’s outdated Soviet-era tanks.
Preparing for Conflict Escalation
Romania’s move to acquire M1 Abrams tanks comes as European allies accelerate defense spending to prepare for a potential escalation of conflict in the region.
Bucharest shares a 650-kilometer (400-mile) border with Ukraine and could be directly affected should the war expand.
Neighboring Poland has already signed a deal worth $4.75 billion for 250 M1A2 Abrams SEPv3 tanks from General Dynamics.
Romania is also upgrading its defense industry by investing in new technologies to boost production capacity.
The Abrams Tank
Developed by General Dynamics Land Systems, the Abrams main battle tank is a full-tracked land combat assault platform designed to destroy enemy assets using improved mobility, firepower, and shock.
It has a 1,500-horsepower turbine engine, a 120-millimeter primary weapon, and special armor to survive blasts and small arms fire.
Its most advanced variant, the M1A2 SEP version 3 (SEPv3), has improved survivability and can host modern technologies relevant on the battlefield.
“This version rectifies many of the space, weight, and power issues identified during Operation Iraqi Freedom and will be the foundational variant for all future incremental upgrades,” the US Army stated on its website.