Ground Warfare

Huta Stalowa Wola and Hanwha Aerospace Forge Strategic Partnership

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Huta Stalowa Wola and Hanwha Aerospace Forge Strategic Partnership

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Huta Stalowa Wola and Hanwha Aerospace Forge Strategic Partnership
Huta Stalowa Wola and Hanwha Aerospace Forge Strategic Partnership

In a significant step towards enhancing defense capabilities and international cooperation, Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) and Hanwha Aerospace signed a letter of intent at the Warsaw office of the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ). Grzegorz Szyd?o, representing HSW, and Boo Hwan Lee, Vice-President of Hanwha Aerospace, formalized the agreement, marking a milestone in the collaboration between Polish and Korean defense industries. The letter of intent outlines a detailed framework for cooperation between HSW and Hanwha Aerospace, focusing on the export of components used in both the Polish Krab gun-howitzer and the Korean K9 gun-howitzer. Notably, the chassis of the Polish Krab and the Korean K9 howitzers share a common origin, facilitating synergy between the two systems. The agreement also sets the stage for joint assessments to explore the feasibility of utilizing the Polish Krab chassis for the advanced Korean K9A2 and K9A3 howitzers. This builds on previous successes where the Korean chassis was adapted to integrate with the Polish Krab turret system.

Polish Army AHS Krab self-propelled howitzers.
Polish Army AHS Krab self-propelled howitzers. (Polish MoD)

Furthermore, the agreement aims to deepen technological exchange, particularly in the realm of repair technology for the K9 main gun howitzer, which is a key asset in the Polish military arsenal. This technological transfer is poised to enhance the operational longevity and effectiveness of Poland’s artillery capabilities for decades to come. Another critical aspect of the agreement is the expanded collaboration on the production of the Homar-K launcher system. This includes the transfer and localization of launcher technology, its adaptation for use with 122 mm unguided missiles, and the joint effort to market the Homar-K system to NATO’s eastern flank. This initiative underscores the strategic importance of the partnership in bolstering regional defense postures. This agreement between HSW and Hanwha Aerospace not only reinforces their commitment to defense innovation but also sets a foundation for future joint ventures that will enhance the defense capabilities of both nations and their allies.

Polish Army K9A1 self-propelled howitzers.
Polish Army K9A1 self-propelled howitzers. (Polish MoD)

The AHS Krab (Polish for crab) is a 155 mm NATO-compatible self-propelled tracked gun-howitzer designed in Poland by Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW), by combining a South Korean K9 Thunder chassis with a British BAE Systems AS-90M Braveheart turret with a Rheinmetall 52-calibre gun produced under license by HSW and the Polish WB Electronics’ Topaz artillery fire control system. “AHS” is not a part of the name, but Polish abbreviation of armatohaubica samobie?na – gun-howitzer, self-propelled. The K9 Thunder is a South Korean 155 mm self-propelled howitzer designed and developed by the Agency for Defense Development and private corporations including Dongmyeong Heavy Industries, Kia Heavy Industry, Poongsan Corporation, and Samsung Aerospace Industries for the Republic of Korea Armed Forces, and is now manufactured by Hanwha Aerospace. K9 howitzers operate in groups with the K10 Ammunition Resupply Vehicle variant.

Polish Army Homar-K (K239 Chunmoo) multiple launch rocket systems. (Polish MoD)

Homar-K (English: Lobster, K for Korean) is a Polish multiple launch rocket system combining the improved K239 launcher and domestic Jelcz P883.57 8×8 truck chassis. Built to meet Polish military requirements, the system will ultimately integrate a Polish-designed TOPAZ fire control system and be serviced with a South Korean CGR080 239 mm guided rocket produced in Poland under license and a 600 mm short-range tactical ballistic missile known as the CTM290 (Chunmoo Tactical Missile) with a range of 290 km. Hanwha Aerospace is undergoing further development to use the Polish 122 mm rocket in the Homar-K system. Poland contracted for 72 systems in the initial delivery. The K239 Chunmoo is a rocket artillery system developed in 2013 to replace the aging K136 Kooryong of the South Korean military.

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