Hanwha Defense signs K9 SPH contract with Poland
On 26 August, Hanwha Defense signed an execution contract with Poland covering the provision of K9 155mm SPHs.
The $2.4 billion deal represented the first phase of a framework agreement hammered out between Poland and South Korea on 27 July. It is the largest ever export order for the K9.
The contract encompasses K9 SPHs, 155mm artillery rounds, training and logistics support. These are to be delivered from 2022-26.
The contract was signed at a military base in the town of Morag, and the event was attended by dignitaries such as Poland’s Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak; Son Jaeil, CEO and President of Hanwha Defense; and Eom Dong-hwan, Minister of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration.
Jaeil said: ‘Today’s signing of the execution contract with Poland is a significant milestone in advancing the long-standing partnership between Hanwha Defense and Poland. Hanwha Defense will be the most reliable partner for Poland and is fully committed to contributing to Poland’s military modernisation and the growth of the local defence industry.’
It is unclear how many vehicles the first execution contract covers. However, a follow-on contract is expected to be signed before the end of this year to cover the balance of vehicles to be produced within Poland.
Shephard earlier reported that Poland will receive 48 K9A1s in Republic of Korea Army configuration in 2022-23, while another 624 will be K9PLs built to Polish specifications by Hanwha in South Korea from 2024, and by HSW in Poland from 2026.
Hanwha Defense declared it would open a business office in Poland before the end of 2022. This will help solidify its presence in Poland, as well as give a foothold for expansion into the European market.
Lee Boo-hwan, EVP of Hanwha Defense’s Overseas Business Division, commented: ‘Poland will be a hub base for Hanwha’s global expansion, especially in Europe. Our goal is to establish stronger partnerships with NATO members and local businesses in Europe based on trust and cooperation.’
Other export customers of the K9 include Australia, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, India, Norway and Turkey. Furthermore, Poland had previously cooperated with Hanwha Defense to develop the Krab SPH for the Polish Army using a K9 chassis.
With more than 1,700 vehicles in service to date, the OEM claims that the K9 Thunder has already achieved a 52% share of the global SPH market.
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