The editors of Defece24.pl took part in a meeting with representatives of the South Korean concern Hanwha. During the meeting, information was provided on supplies for the Polish Armed Forces and on industrial cooperation projects already underway, as well as on the prospects for its development. Let's add that Hanwha is increasing its presence in Poland and opening its office in Warsaw.
Firstly, cooperation on the issue of 155 mm self-propelled artillery is progressing. K9A1/K9PL self-propelled howitzers are gradually being integrated with the Polish ZZKO Topaz artillery fire control system, Polish means of communication as well as national reconnaissance means such as FlyEye.
The first K9A1 howitzers, delivered last year, are already integrated with the Polish system, and in the second half of February they took part in live firing in Toruń. It is worth noting that further deliveries of howitzers to the Polish Armed Forces are planned this year. In 2023, the Polish Army will receive the first howitzers beyond the batch of 48 guns acquired as a "gap filler" in order to replenish stocks with urgent deliveries.
As for the K9PL howitzers, representatives of Hanwha emphasize that an agreement is to be reached in the coming months on the division of work in the consortium responsible for the production of the Polonized version with the participation of the domestic industry, with the key role of Huta Stalowa Wola. This will be a step towards signing an execution contract for the second batch of howitzers.
Preparations are also underway for the delivery of the first batch of K239 Chunmoo multiple rocket launchers, which, like the K9A1, are to be integrated with the Polish carrier in the form of Jelcz trucks, the Topaz system, Polish communications and reconnaissance systems. At the same time, an agreement is being prepared regarding the production of a Polonized version of K239 Chunmoo. It is to be signed in the coming months.
Infantry fighting vehicle
As for the heavy infantry fighting vehicle, Hanwha is ready to cooperate in the design work on such a vehicle based on the K9 chassis, which is also used on the Polish Krab howitzer. One can get the impression that the cooperation scheme would be to some extent similar to the one established by Hyundai Rotem with the Turkish Otokar in the Altay tank development program, based on the technologies developed by Hyundai Rotem in the K2 tank program.
The K9 chassis has already been tested and is ready for use in vehicles weighing up to 50 tons, which gives a lot of possibilities to configure the new IFV. The new Polish heavy IFV will use technologies and components that are already used in both K9 and Krab howitzers, so design cooperation with Hanwha seems to be a natural solution here.
Navy and aerospace sector
Although Hanwha cooperation with Poland is so far associated primarily with equipment for the Land Forces, the company is also open to involvement in other areas. After taking over shares in Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) last year, the company can offer cooperation on solutions for the Navy as well as the civil maritime sector. In addition, Hanwha has a portfolio of products for the civil and military aerospace industry and there are also opportunities for cooperation with the Polish industry.