Poland expects deliveries of Korean tanks, howitzers this year
South Korea will deliver the first tanks and howitzers Poland has ordered by the end of the year, the Polish defence minister has said.
"We're expecting deliveries of the K2 main battle tanks, and the self-propelled K9 howitzers this year, in 2022," Mariusz Blaszczak said on Tuesday as he opened a Polish-Korean defence industry conference in Warsaw.
"We're also expecting (the delivery of) the FA-50 aircraft and the Chunmoo rocket artillery systems as soon as next year, in 2023," Blaszczak added.
In July Poland signed a USD 5.8 billion deal with South Korea for a stack of defence equipment including 180 K2 tanks to be delivered by the end of 2025, and 212 howitzers to be shipped to Poland by 2026.
In his address, Blaszczak praised the fast pace at which the negotiations with South Korea had been conducted as well as their effectiveness, which resulted in a number of contracts signed.
According to Blaszczak, the cooperation will also benefit the Polish defence industry.
"The Polish Armaments Group estimates its share in the K2PL, K9PL and Chunmoo projects at more than PLN 60 billion (EUR 12.81 bln)," the minister said, adding that a number of components and weapons systems for the South Korean designs will be manufactured in Poland.
Blaszczak went on to say that Poland needed to replenish its defence equipment with more advanced weapons as it handed some of its weaponry to Ukraine.