WARSAW ($1=4.73 Polish Zlotys) — Poland will buy three of South Korean flagship military products that the Asian country is proud of. 672 self-propelled howitzers K9 Thunder is considered by some to be the best in its class in the world. 1,000 South Korean K2 main battle tanks are also considered one of the best next-generation tanks. 48 FA-50 light combat aircraft used for both combat missions and pilot training.
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According to the Belgian portal Army Recognition, such a purchase is expected, as it is embedded in the Polish plan to modernize the army. Army Recognition writes that Poland will receive the first 180 tanks by 2025, with their deliveries beginning in 2022. The remaining quantity is expected to start shipping after 2025. The Belgians also say that Poland plans to buy 12 FA-50 light combat aircraft and the remaining 36 will be upgraded to the KAI FA-50PL level.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that indications of future excellent cooperation between the two countries in military trade appeared during the past international defense and security exhibition Eurosatori Paris 2022. Then, the two countries officially announced the signing of an agreement on the production of the Polish-Korean K2PL tanks.
What Polish MoD said?
The news is from today and was announced by the Minister of Defense of Poland, Mariusz Błaszczak, via a tweet on his official Twitter account. Błaszczak says that the contracts for the delivery of the three types of military equipment were signed today. Błaszczak announced that the Polish government’s goals were for the future Polish army to number 300,000 soldiers.
All three weapons systems will go through the industrial cooperation process. Poland has the capacity and production facilities to participate in the production of self-propelled howitzers, tanks, and aircraft.
The K2PL tank was the first for which it was clear that Warsaw would want to participate in its production. A model of it was presented at the Eurosatori Paris 2022 exhibition. During the exhibition, the agreement signed by the two countries stated “joint development between Poland and South Korea”.
Most likely a significant part of self-propelled howitzers and aircraft are also made in Poland. South Korea offers its partners with large arms orders similar cooperation. This with Poland is an attempt by Hanwha Defense to establish a more serious market presence in Europe.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that the largest purchase of the K9 self-propelled howitzers was this year when Egypt signed a contract for 200 units [before Poland] and Hanwha Defense agreed to have more than 70% of them made under license at a factory near Cairo.
Rumors of a K2PL tank
At present, there is no specific information on what the tank will look like and what different features and elements will be integrated into it to meet Polish needs.
However, photos of models shared on social media claim that they show the design of K2PL. According to them, the Polish-Korean tank will have a 7th wheel in the wheel mechanism, which will make the K2PL longer than the usual length for the main battle tank. It is rumored that the tank will receive a new turret design, and the distribution of ammunition will also be improved.
There is no information on what the main cannon of the tank will be [will it keep the 120mm cannon of the K2 Black Panther or will it be used differently], nor the secondary weapon, which serves for protection in close combat.
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