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Poland to purchase hundreds of tanks, howitzers and dozens of fighter jets from South Korea

Poland is buying almost 1,000 tanks, more than 600 pieces of artillery and dozens of fighter jets from South Korea, in part to replace equipment donated to Ukraine to help Kyiv fight the Russian invasion, the Polish Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday.

The agreement, expected to be officially announced in Poland on Wednesday, will see Warsaw purchase 980 tanks based on the South Korean K2 model, 648 self-propelled K9 armored howitzers, and 48 FA-50 fighter jets, the ministry said. It would not confirm the value of the deal.

The first 180 K2 tanks, made by Hyundai Rotem and equipped with auto-loading 120mm guns, are expected to arrive this year, with the production of 800 upgraded tanks starting in 2026 in Poland, according to the ministry.




The first 48 K9 howitzers, made by Hanwha Defense, are also expected to arrive this year, with delivery of a second batch of 600 due to start in 2024. From 2025 these will be produced in Poland, the ministry said.

The ministry said these armored vehicles would, in part, replace the Soviet-era tanks that Poland has donated to Ukraine to use in its fight against Russia.

Since joining NATO in 1999, Poland has become a key member of the 30-member alliance, and has been purchasing US-made military equipment, including Abrams main battle tanks and F-35 stealth fighter jets.



Poland has also become a big backer of the government in Kyiv following Russia’s invasion, making deals to send more than 200 tanks and self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine.