27.07.2022 – Framework agreements have been signed, which will significantly strengthen the Polish armed forces. This strengthening is extremely important in view of the situation on our eastern border. We do not have time, we cannot wait. We have to arm the Polish Army – said Mariusz Błaszczak, deputy prime minister, head of the Ministry of National Defence during the approval of contracts for South Korean military equipment.
On Wednesday, July the 27th , Deputy Prime Minister Mariusz Błaszczak approved the arms contracts with South Korea for the purchase of equipment for the Polish Army. The contracts for K2 tanks, howitzers and FA-50 aircrafts are one of the most important and largest Polish defence orders in recent years.
“It is extremely important that the first deliveries of howitzers and tanks will take place this year. So we are starting our cooperation with deliveries of military equipment this year. The first aircrafts will go to the Polish Army, to the Polish Air Force next year” – said the deputy prime minister.
“Under the framework agreement signed, we will order 1,000 K2 tanks, over 600 K9 howitzers and also 3 FA50 squadrons. It can be said that we have already ordered just such a weapon. Why such a weapon? Because we learn lessons from what is happening in Ukraine. We learn lessons from how the aggressor attacks, how Russia has attacked. We can see that armoured forces and artillery are of great importance on the battlefield nowadays, hence the decision to strengthen this type of armed forces” – noted the head of the Ministry of National Defence.
The ordered equipment is a real strengthening of the Polish deterrence and defence potential. Ultimately, it will be produced with a wide participation of the Polish defence industry and taking into account the opinions and assessments of military experts. Orders are characterized by a fast pace of deliveries and a large transfer of technology to Poland.
“In the case of tanks, it is extremely important that we have a very large force at our disposal. Hence the large number associated with tanks. Korean tanks, like all Korean weapons, are proven because Korea has been preparing for war for 70 years, wanting peace. It is known to be under threat, so this Korean equipment must be of the highest quality” – said the head of the Ministry of National Defence, referring to the ordered tanks.
K2 tanks – the order is divided into two stages – the first one will acquire 180 tanks (deliveries will begin this year), and the second stage involves over 800 tanks in the K2PL standard – in 2026 the production of K2PL tanks will start in Poland. The tanks acquired in the first stage will also be polonized and brought to the K2PL standard.
As the Deputy Prime Minister pointed out, the first stage of deliveries, assuming the delivery of 48 howitzers, will begin this year.
“In the case of howitzers, the design is very similar to the Polish KRABs. I strongly emphasize that we will order as many KRABs in Poland as possible, so all the production capacities of Polish plants will be used. But our needs are much greater than the production capacity of Huta Stalowa Wola, which is why we have decided on such a transaction. I underline that our cooperation with Korea is strategic. This is not filling the gaps we have in our armed forces. This is a strategic approach” – said the deputy prime minister.
“We have an agreement that in the coming years, the production of this weapon will be in Poland. This is a great opportunity for the Polish defence industry. I am glad that the president of Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa, Mr. Sebastian Chwałek, participated in the negotiations. These were negotiations that resulted in very good contracts. Implementation contracts are still ahead of us, but I am confident that we will find absolutely good solutions, beneficial for both parties, for the Polish side and for the Korean side. We want to choose the best from the KRAB design and the best from the K9 design in the next few years, so that this weapon is uniform for both countries. I would like to emphasize once again, because there were some misunderstandings here, we will use the production capacity of Huta Stalowa Wola to the full. Also developed production capacity, because, as we know, PGZ plans to very quickly increase the production capacity related to the production of howitzers” – emphasized Mariusz Błaszczak.
Deliveries of another 600 howitzers will start in 2024, and from 2026 they will be produced in Poland. From the very beginning, K9 will be equipped with Polish communication systems and will be plugged into the integrated Topaz combat management system.
“The first aircrafts will be at the disposal of the Polish air force next year. First of all, these aircrafts will enable us to withdraw post-Soviet planes. Secondly, they will enable us to intensify the training of Polish pilots. Thirdly, these are training and combat aircrafts, so they will be used in various types of missions that we conduct” – emphasized referring to the contract for the acquisition of FA-50 aircraft.
First, the Air Force will receive 12 aircrafts in mid-2023, with a total of 48 aircraft being delivered. FA-50 are light, multi-purpose training and combat machines. The aircrafts will be configured in accordance with the precise requirements presented by the Polish Air Force (IFF NATO), will have increased operational capabilities and the Block 20 standard.
“Recent geopolitical events and the unprecedented attack of the Russian Federation on Ukraine show that peace is not given to us once and for all. We must prepare for this peace, prepare for what Prime Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said, to deter a potential aggressor. And in order for the deterrence potential to be sufficient, the decisions made by the prime minister to build an army of 300,000 require the equipment of this 300,000 army, because human potential must also be technically prepared to fulfill its obligations” – said Sebastian Chwałek, who was present at the signing of the armaments contracts.
“The agreement signed between the Korean party and the Armaments Agency is the beginning of the road in which Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa, in which the Polish defence industry has a significant place, has its place. We will soon be the beneficiaries of these agreements. Soon we will be the beneficiaries of the implementing agreements, on the basis of which, from 2025, we must be prepared for a much greater production capacity, for the possibility of producing hundreds of heavy military equipment in Poland. The plants included in PGZ are already starting preparations today. Both when it comes to the K9 howitzer, which we will eventually produce in Poland, next to the KRAB howitzer” – President Chwałek pointed out.
“Signing the framework agreement is indeed very important for the government of the Republic of Poland, but also for the government of South Korea, for our armaments industries, because now our countries are starting a strategic partnership and strategic cooperation. Hyundai Rotem will certainly expand this partnership with Poland, especially when it comes to locating production here in Poland with full transfer. I am convinced that both countries will be great partners in the name of the future, the more that we are expanding our cooperation to other areas” – emphasized Lee Yong-Bae, president of Hyundai Rotem.
Source Polish Ministry of Defence
Photo courtesy Polish Ministry of Defence