Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mariusz Błaszczak confirmed the deal with Huta Stalowa Wola at the 30th International Defence Industry Exhibition MSPO in Kielce.
In addition to the howitzers, the company will deliver 22 command vehicles, 12 ammunition support vehicles, and two mobile workshops for weapons repair.
The Polish armed forces will receive the items between 2025 and 2027.
5 września została zawarta umowa, o wartości 3,81 mld zł, pomiędzy Agencją Uzbrojenia a HSW S.A. na dostawę 48 haubic #KRAB wraz z 22 wozami dowodzenia, 12 wozami amunicyjnymi i 2 warsztatami remontu uzbrojenia, które zostaną dostarczone do 🇵🇱Sił Zbrojnych w latach 2025-2027. pic.twitter.com/mcFsjHjBl6
— Krzysztof Płatek (@krzysztof_atek) September 5, 2022
The Krab howitzer is designed by Huta Stalowa Wola in collaboration with various defense manufacturers. It borrows features from the Soviet PT-91 “Twardy” main battle tank and the British AS-90 “Braveheart” self-propelled artillery.
It has an all-welded steel hull for protection against light firearms and is equipped with a fire suppression system and laser warning system.
The tank is armed with a 12.7mm heavy machine gun, electrically operated 81mm smoke grenades, and a 155mm/52 caliber gun.
It can also fire NATO-grade projectiles to a maximum range of 40 kilometers (25 miles).
Modernizing Polish Armed Forces
“It is important that we are consistently increasing the defense capabilities of the Republic of Poland by developing both the numerical strength of the Polish Army and equipping the Polish Army with modern equipment,” Błaszczak explained.
“I always emphasize that whenever we can, we order military equipment in the Polish arms industry. This is the case with Krabs. This is the case with cannon-howitzers that proved themselves during the war. They are an important weapon in the hands of Ukrainians, they are an effective weapon in the defense of Ukraine,” he continued.
Polish President Andrzej Duda also stressed the need to modernize and develop his country’s armed forces.
“The time of peace has definitely ended, the time when wars were fought on other continents and when we looked at them only and exclusively through the prism of possible military contingents,” he said.
Alongside the Krab howitzers, the Polish Armament Agency announced additional orders signed during the MSPO.
Rosomak SA will supply 30 AWR artillery reconnaissance vehicles for the army’s Cancer Company fire modules between 2024 and 2026.
Wojskowe Zakłady Elektroniczne SA (WZŁ-1 SA) signed the delivery of the Digital Transmission Shelter, slated for completion between 2023 and 2026.
WZŁ-1 SA and subsidiaries concluded a contract for the supply of command cabins for anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems from 2024 to 2025.
Jelcz will supply 382 Jelczy 442 and 167 Jelczy 662 high-mobility trucks between 2023 and 2027.
Finally, PCO SA will deliver 5,000 optoelectronic devices, including SCT Rubin thermal vision sights and NPL-1T and M thermal imaging binoculars.
In total, the Polish government has spent around 7 billion Polish złoty ($1.5 billion) for equipping its armed forces with modernized capabilities.