Poland and South Korea to seal $5.8 billion military deal

August 26, 2022 GMT

MORAG, Poland (AP) — Poland is scheduled to seal a deal with South Korea on Friday for the purchase of some $5.8 billion worth of tanks, howitzers and ammunition as the European country steps up its defense and deterrence capabilities in the face of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Polish Deputy Prime Minister Mariusz Blaszczak, who is also his country’s defense minister, and the head of South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration, Eom Dong-hwan, are expected to sign the contracts at a military base in the northern Poland town of Morag.

Poland’s conservative government, in power since 2015, has worked to strengthen the country’s armed forces in response to neighboring Russia’s policies and actions.

Poland, like other European nations and the United States, has sent military equipment to Ukraine during the 6-month war. The Polish government is seeking to replace some of the equipment it shared with new acquisitions, including U.S.-made Abrams tanks.

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Under the deal with South Korea, Poland is purchasing 180 K2 Black Panther tanks, made by Hyundai Rotem and worth some $3.4 billion, along with 212 K9 Thunder howitzers made by Hanhwa Defense, worth some $2.4 billion. The deal includes training, logistics and ammunition.

“The ordered equipment constitutes a real strengthening of Poland’s deterrence and defense potential,” Poland’s Defense Ministry said.

Some of the items are expected to arrive this, and all by the end of 2025.

Poland and South Korea also plan to sign an agreement this year for the purchase of 12 FA-50 planes, a light training and combat aircraft made by Korea Aerospace jointly with Lockheed Martin, according to Blaszczak.

Poland is seeking a technology transfer so it can launch production domestically.