Polish gov’t approves deal to buy weapons from South Korea

Poland’s defence minister has approved a contract for the purchase of fighter jets, tanks and howitzers from South Korea for the Polish armed forces.

Polands Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak approves the purchase of weapons from South Korea, in Warsaw on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.

Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak approves the purchase of weapons from South Korea, in Warsaw on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.PAP/Leszek Szymański

Mariusz Błaszczak signed the deal in Warsaw on Wednesday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Under the agreement, Poland will buy South Korea’s FA-50 light fighter jets, K2 Black Panther tanks and K9 self-propelled howitzers, officials said.  

K2 tanks

A first batch of 180 K2 tanks is expected to be delivered to Poland starting later this year. 

The second installment comprises over 800 tanks „of the K2PL standard,” which are set to be manufactured in Poland from 2026, reporters were told.

In the meantime, the first batch will also be upgraded to K2PL standard, officials said.

K9 howitzers

In addition, Poland is buying K9 self-propelled howitzers from South Korea in two stages, with some of the first batch of 48 howitzers expected to be delivered this year to replace  equipment sent to Ukraine, according to officials.

The second installment comprises over 600 howitzers, with deliveries due to start in 2024.

From 2026, the machines will be produced in Poland, officials said.

FA-50 fighter jets

Moreover, Poland is also buying 48 FA-50 light fighter jets from South Korea. A first installment of 12 machines will be supplied in mid-2023, reporters were told. 

Equipped with the NATO IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) system, they are intended to complement Poland’s F-16 fighter aircraft, officials said.

‘Polish soldiers must have modern weapons’

After signing the contract, Błaszczak, who is also a deputy prime minister, said: “Polish soldiers must have modern weapons. And we have just ordered such modern weapons.”

He added: “This strengthening of our army is extremely important given the situation beyond our eastern border.”

“Our aim is to make the Polish Army so strong as to deter the aggressor from attacking our country,” Błaszczak also said.

(pm/gs)

Source: IAR, PAPforsal.pl 

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