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Poland Signs $13B Deal With South Korea for 48 Light Combat Jets

Poland has signed a 65-billion Polish zloty ($13.7 billion) agreement with South Korea to purchase 48 light combat aircraft.

The September 16 deal replaces Poland’s Soviet-era MiG-29 aircraft with a new set of modern, multi-role FA-50s.

Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said the first 12 FA-50s will be delivered to the Polish army next year.

“The FA-50 are of the same generation as the F-16, which will significantly strengthen the Polish Air Force,” Blaszczak added.

The aircraft is an affordable and efficient supersonic advanced light attack platform.

The 13.4-meter (44 feet) jet is also equipped with advanced radar that heightens detection capabilities and meets light fighter requirements of air forces around the world.

Military Expansion

The Polish government had expanded its military force earlier than planned amid growing security woes over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In March, Poland announced it would increase its defense spending to 3 percent of gross domestic product for 2023.

Blaszczak said the hike would enable Poland to scale up the “size of its armed forces, restore the reserve system, and modernize its equipment.”

Empowering Polish Defense

The latest agreement is not the first partnership between Poland and South Korea.

In July, Poland said that it would also buy 980 K2 battle tanks and 648 K9 howitzers from the Asian nation.

The high-tech battle tank K2 Black Panther is designed with improved ergonomics and digitalization.

The 10.8-meter (35 feet) armored vehicle also features enhanced mobility and firepower, including an improved “hunter-killer function, auto-target detection, and tracking systems, as well as electric gun and turret driving systems.”

Korea’s K9 Thunder Self-Propelled Howitzer, made of all-welded steel armor protection, delivers a high rate of fire at long range.

The 155mm self-propelled howitzer has a maximum firing rate of six to eight rounds per minute for three minutes.

The weapon’s hydro-pneumatic suspension system also provides high ground clearance and mobility in various terrain.

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