Poland has ordered four 'Regina' artillery squadrons from Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) in the largest contract the Polish Ministry of National Defence (MOND) has placed locally since the country's independence in 1990.
Worth PLN4.65 billion (USD1.1 billion) and signed on 14 December, the contract includes the delivery of 96 Krab 155 mm self-propelled howitzers (SPHs), 12 command staff vehicles, 32 command post vehicles, 24 ammunition supply vehicles, and 4 mobile armament and electronics workshop vehicles.
Together with a PLN968 million order placed in April for 96 M120K Rak self-propelled mortars and 32 command vehicles, Poland has now spent PLN5.7 billion on artillery systems this year alone.
The four squadrons (Dywizjonowy Modul Ogniowy: DMO), are due for delivery between 2018 and 2024. A single DMO includes 24 Krabs, three command staff vehicles, eight command post vehicles, six ammunition supply vehicles, and one mobile armament and electronics workshop vehicle.
The Krab SPH is a Polish-modified amalgam of the following international designs: the South Korean Hanwha Techwin K9 Thunder chassis, the British BAE Systems AS90 Braveheart turret, and a German L52 155 mm artillery piece.
Poland signed a PLN1 billion deal with South Korea in December 2014 for 120 K9 chassis and technology transfer related to the programme. Under that deal the first 36 chassis are to be manufactured in South Korea, with the following 84 to be built under licence in Poland by HSW with an increasing number of Polish components. As HSW has plans to create specialised vehicles on the Krab chassis, it is possible that more than 120 K9 chassis will eventually be included.
The first two chassis were delivered to Poland in 2015, with the country having now received the 24 chassis needed to equip the first Regina artillery squadron.
Delivery of the first Regina DMO is formally scheduled to be completed in July/August 2017.
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