Poland to ink multi-billion military supply deal with South KoreaReading Time: 2 minutes
South Korean defence manufacturers will sign contracts worth EUR 7.53bn with Poland before the end of the month, The Korea Economic Daily (KED) reported. Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak confirmed the news on Friday afternoon.
The companies involved in what may become a long-term bilateral relationship include Korean Hyundai Rotem Co., Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (KAI) and Hanwha Defense.
In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the Polish government is interested in long-term supplies of Hyundai Rotem’s battle tank K2 Black Panther, KAI’s FA-50 light fighter aircraft and Hanwha’s K9 self-propelled howitzers, KED wrote, citing South Korean government and defence industry sources. So far Poland has been sending Soviet-era MIG-29 warplanes to Ukraine.
Poland has discussed prices and schedules with company executives, adding to hopes that the South Korean defence firms will further expand into Europe. A senior South Korean government official said it is likely that either memorandums of understanding or memorandums of agreement will be signed in the coming weeks.
Polish President Andrzej Duda and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol discussed cooperation during the NATO summit in Madrid on June 29. The previous month Blaszczak visited South Korean factories of Hyundai Rotem, KAI and Hanwha.
Hyundai Rotem, whose top shareholder is automaker Hyundai, has discussed supplying 180 K2 Black Panther battle tanks in a 3 trillion-won (EUR 2.24bn) deal, and has also offered 400 further units by 2030.
KAI has offered to export 48 FA-50 fighter planes to Poland, and reportedly even offered to deliver eight of the 20 FA-50s earmarked for the South Korean air force this year. The size of the contract, which would include parts supplies and after-sales service is expected to top 3 trillion won (EUR 2.24bn). An FA-50 unit costs around 50 billion won (EUR 37.4mn).
The over 4 trillion won (EUR 3bn) deal between Hanwha and Poland reportedly involves 670 units of K9 self-propelled howitzers.
Blaszczak confirmed the rumours on Friday afternoon, tweeting: “With this contract, we will significantly increase Poland’s security and the strength of the Polish Army. Fast delivery and industry development are key! We reconciled the often divergent interests of soldiers and the arms industry. It’s a win-win situation for both groups. We’re signing contracts next week!”
This article was amended to include quotes from Mariusz Blaszczak at 2pm Friday, 22 July.