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Poland buys South Korean tanks and combat planes

July 23, 2022

Poland will sign a deal with South Korea to purchase tanks, planes and howitzers as the country boosts its defense capabilities amid a possible Russian threat.

South Korea's 20th Mechanized Infantry Division K2 tanks, take part in a live-fire artillery drill.
The first howitzers and tanks from South Korea are scheduled to arrive at the end of 2022.Image: Kim Hee-Chul/epa/dpa/picture alliance

Poland is gearing up to purchase tanks, howitzers and fighter planes from South Korea as it looks to bolster its armed forces.

"We're signing contracts next week," Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said in a tweet on Friday.

The agreement includes 48 FA-50 light combat fighter jets, 180 K2 "Black Panther" tanks and an unspecified  number of K9 howitzers, wPolityce website reported, quoting Blaszczak.

"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," Blaszczak said in his tweet.

Poland shoring up its defense capabilities

The first howitzers and tanks are scheduled to arrive at the end of 2022 while the planes are expected to be delivered next year, the defense minister said.

Poland, a NATO member bordering Ukraine, is shoring up its defenses in a bid to counter a possible threat from Russia.

Warsaw has also given a number of weapons from its arsenal to Ukraine, ever since the country was attacked by Russia, and is trying to replace them.

"We are aware of Poland's challenges raised by the war in Ukraine and (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's aggressive policy... Our aim is to scare the aggressor and strengthen the Polish army as much as possible," Blaszczak said.

"We support Ukraine because it is fighting for us, but we must also strengthen our own defense capabilities," he added.

Duda addresses Ukrainian parliament

dvv/sri (AFP, dpa)