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Poland orders K2 MBTs and K9 SPHs from South Korea

Poland has ordered 1,000 K2 MBTs. (Hyundai Rotem)

Poland signed contracts for K2 main battle tanks (MBTs), K9 self-propelled howitzers (SPHs), and FA-50 training and light fighter aircraft from South Korea on 27 July, Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence Mariusz Błaszczak announced the same day. He tweeted, “Our armed forces receive modern weapons, and industry gets a chance for further development. Deliveries will start as early as 2022 and will allow for the building of a strong army of at least 300,000.”

The Polish Armaments Agency said on its website on 27 July that Hyundai Rotem would supply K2 tanks and Hanwha Defense K9 SPHs. The contracts also foresee technology transfer to and the establishment of industrial capacity in Poland, as well as support and training packages.

Poland is procuring 1,000 K2s, the first 180 of which are scheduled to be delivered in 2022−25, followed in 2026 by the launch of production in Poland and the delivery of the first of 820 K2PL tanks.

The K2 can be equipped with Visual and Infrared Screening Smoke (VIRSS) launchers and the Korean Active Protection System (KAPS), but Janes understands the first batch supplied to Poland will not have either. However, all the K2 tanks ordered by Poland will be equipped with a communication system compatible with that used by the Polish Armed Forces, and the battlefield management system (BMS) will be compatible with Poland's future BMS. The K2PL will be up-armoured and fitted with a 360° observation system and KAPS, with the possibility of using programmable ammunition from different suppliers and the Polish WKM 12.7 mm machine gun. The first 180 K2s will be upgraded to the K2PL standard.

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