Two South Korean companies have agreed a $5.76 billion deal with Poland to export tanks and howitzers, Seoul’s arms procurement agency said on Saturday (August 27), after Warsaw agreed to ramp up arms imports amid tensions with Russia.
The contracts, signed in Poland on Friday (August 26), are part of South Korea’s biggest ever arms deal, clinched last month with Poland, which has been seeking to beef up its military in the face of Russia’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.
Hyundai Rotem Co. will ship K2 Black Panther tanks, and Hanwha Defense, the defence unit of Hanwha Corp , will send K9 self-propelled howitzers to Poland, said the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).
Poland agreed to buy 180 K2 tanks, an unspecified number of howitzers and 48 FA-50 fighter jets under the deal. Friday’s contract covers a first installment, DAPA said, without elaborating on the numbers. An agreement for the jets is expected next month.
“Ten K2 tanks will arrive here, in Morag later this year and 24 K9 howitzers will arrive in the artillery regiment in Wegorzewo,” Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said after signing the deal in Polish army base in Morag,
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The parties have not announced the value of the entire deal, which South Korean media estimated at up to 20 trillion won ($15 billion).
The Ukraine invasion, which Russia calls a “special military operation,” has raised security fears among many former Eastern Bloc countries. NATO member Poland has vowed to boost military spending to 3% of gross domestic product and more than double the size of its army to deter any attacks.
By Reuters. (Production: Malgorzata Wojtunik)