Poland has finalized the purchase of main battle tanks and howitzers from South Korea to bolster its defenses amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Polish government signed the $5.76 billion contract, one of Poland’s largest defense orders in recent years, on August 26.
The agreement includes 180 K2 Black Panther Tanks and 212 K9A1 self-propelled howitzers. The acquisitions are expected to be complete by 2025 and 2026.
“In a short time, with our South Korean partner, we achieved a lot,” Deputy Prime Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said. “From the point of view of Poland’s security, the most important thing is that the first examples of tanks and cannon-howitzers will be delivered to the Polish Army this year.”
“Later this year, 10 K2 tanks will be delivered to Morąg, and 24 cannon-howitzers will be delivered to the Polish Army. The K9s will go to the artillery regiment in Węgorzewo,” Błaszczak added.
Deal Agreed in July
The deal covers a portion of purchases agreed by Poland and South Korea last month in which 49 FA-50 light combat aircraft were also included.
“Three months ago, during my visit to Seoul, we started negotiations. Two months ago, after the meeting in Madrid, during the NATO summit, our presidents discussed our cooperation,” the prime minister explained.
“A month ago, we signed framework contracts, and today we signed contracts for the sale of K2 tanks and K9 howitzers to equip the Polish Army,” he continued.
Hyundai Rotem and Hanwha Defense, the South Korean companies developing the tanks and howitzers, will also provide training, logistics, and ammunition.
“The soldiers of the Polish Army will go to Korea in October this year to train on K2 tanks. So the crews will return from training, and new tanks will be at the disposal of the Polish Army. In this way, we strengthen the security of the Republic of Poland,” Błaszczak said.