Poland’s Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with South Korean enterprise Hanwha Defense to cooperate on K9 self-propelled howitzer development.
The MoU was signed during the International Defense Industry Exhibition MSPO in Kielce.
The deal specifies the role of the companies in the manufacturing, maintenance, support services, and life-cycle costs of the K9 howitzers.
The latest deal follows Poland’s plan to procure 672 K9 self-propelled howitzers to replace the S21 ‘Goździk’ howitzers.
These howitzers will be produced, serviced, and repaired within PGZ.
As part of the MoU, both PGZ and Hanwha Defense will jointly focus on the project related to the procurement of the howitzers.
The cooperation also seeks to modernise the K9 howitzers to K9PL standard and hold joint research and development (R&D) on a new field artillery system.
The companies will expand their partnership in R&D, manufacturing, overhaul, and modernisation of related solutions for Polish, South Korean, and third party projects.
The MoU also provides a scope for future collaborations between PGZ and Hanwha Defense in the fields of infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS).
PGZ Management Board president Sebastian Chwałek said: “The Polish defence industry has over a decade of fruitful cooperation with Hanwha Defense. The most recognisable effect of this cooperation are the KRAB howitzers, [a] not-so-distant relative of the K9 SPH.
“Today’s agreement is the next stage of this cooperation, which will translate into the development of both our economies and an increase in the potential of armed forces of our countries.”
In September 2021, PGZ and Wojskowe Zakłady Motoryzacyjne jointly secured a long-term contract to overhaul Poland’s BWP-1 IFVs.