Gov't approves contract for 48 Polish howitzers

Wojtek Jargiło/PAP

Poland's Defence Ministry has approved the purchase of 48 Polish-made Krab self-propelled howitzers, and 36 auxiliary vehicles in a deal valued at PLN 3.8 billion (EUR 800 million).

Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak, who is also a deputy prime minister, said whenever possible, Poland orders military equipment from the Polish defence sector. The Krab howitzer is made by Huta Stalowa Wola, part of the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ) defence conglomerate.

"It's important that we are consistently increasing the defence capacity of the Republic of Poland through developing the Polish Army and by providing the Polish Army with modern equipment," Blaszczak said during a ceremonial contract-signing ahead of an international defence fair in the central city of Kielce. "We have been consistent in these activities since 2015."

He added that the Krabs had been "tested in war, and in the hands of Ukrainians represent an effective weapon in the defence of Ukraine."

"In connection with that, I have approved a further contract representing an order for 48 self-propelled howitzers and 36 auxiliary vehicles, the value of the contract is over 3.8 billion zloties," he said.

President Duda, also present at the signing, said of the deal: "Our soldiers should be armed to the teeth so that no one attacks us and so that that weaponry will never need to be used in practice in combat."