Poland has finalised a deal with South Korean defense companies Hyundai Rotem and Hanwha Defense to procure military equipment and vehicles for the Polish Army (Wojska L?dowe). It also includes supply of ammunition as well as associated training and logistics support. The executive contracts were approved by Poland’s National Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak in Morag, Poland, on 26 August. Once delivered, the military equipment will be operated by the Polish Army. Under this deal, Hyundai Rotem will deliver 180 K2 Black Panther main battle tanks (MBT), while Hanwha will supply 212 Thunder self-propelled howitzers of the K9 family, in the K9A1 version.
Poland’s National Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said: “From the point of view of Polish safety, the most important thing is that first copies of tanks and cannon howitzers will go to Polish Army this year. Later this year, 10 K2 tanks will go to Mor?g, and 24 K9 howitzers will go to the artillery regiment in W?gorzewo. Soldiers of the Polish Army will go to Korea in October this year to train on K2 tanks. So, crews will return from training, and the new tanks will already be at the disposal of the Polish Army.”
The K2 Black Panther is a next-generation South Korean main battle tank designed by the Agency for Defense Development and manufactured by Hyundai Rotem. Developed as a modern replacement for most of the remaining M48 Patton tanks currently fielded by the South Korean military, the K2 Black Panther combines an auto-loaded 120 mm main gun, advanced composite armor, along with soft and hard-kill active protection systems. Mass production commenced in 2013 and the first K2s were deployed with the armed forces in July 2014. The K2 costs over US$8.5 million per unit, making it one of the most expensive main battle tanks in service, of any nation.
The K9 Thunder is a South Korean 155 mm self-propelled howitzer designed and developed by the Agency for Defense Development and is now manufactured by Hanwha Defense. On 17 December 2014, Samsung Techwin signed a cooperation agreement with Huta Stalowa Wola to supply K9 Thunder chassis for AHS Krab self-propelled howitzer. The deal is worth $310 million for 120 chassis, which includes related technology transfer and the power pack. On 27 July 2022, Polish Armaments Group (PGZ) and Hanwha Defense signed a framework agreement to supply 672 K9A1 and K9PL. Delivery will commence between 2022–2026. Poland plans to build K9PL locally afterward via technology transfer for the second batch.