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Poland to procure 180 K2 Black Panther tanks from South Korea

FA-50 fighter jets and howitzers will also be purchased to strengthen the Polish Army’s capabilities.

Poland’s National Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak has announced plans to procure 180 K2 Black Panther tanks, reported Reuters.  

Blaszczak said the first instalment of the 180 K2 Black Panthers will be procured this year. It will also include 48 FA-50 fighter jets and howitzers from South Korea.

“Ultimately, these tanks will be produced in Poland,” reported the news agency, citing Blaszczak’s interview with Sieci, a weekly published online.

The K2 Black Panther main battle tank (MBT) is developed by Hyundai Motor Group’s affiliate Hyundai Rotem.

With improved ergonomics and digitalisation, the tank promises enhanced mobility and firepower compared to the K1 series of vehicles.

The MBT also features a hunter-killer function, auto-target detection, and tracking systems, as well as electric gun and turret driving systems.

It has a crew of three members including a commander, gunner, and driver. 

Blaszczak said: “We are interested in purchasing three squadrons, that is 48 aircraft [FA-50 fighter jets].”

The first FA-50 fighter aircraft, produced by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), is expected to be delivered to the country in 2023.

In May, Blaszczak signed agreements with South Korean Defence Minister Jong-sup Lee for cooperation in the field of armaments and research.

To keep its army ready with modern equipment amid the war in neighbouring Ukraine, the Nato member seeks to replace post-Soviet tanks with modern ones.

Earlier this year, Poland signed an agreement to procure 250 Abrams tanks from the US.

Under the $4.75bn deal, Poland will procure Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 main battle tanks.

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