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Industry

PM Morawiecki: PLN 850 Million to Fund Manufacturing of the Krab Howitzer at Bumar-Łabędy

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, accompanied by the President at Targi Kielce, Andrzej Mochoń, visiting MSPO 2023.
Photo. Jakub Borowski/Defence24

PM Mateusz Morawiecki announced that PLN 850 million would be provided to support the launch of manufacturing of the Krab howitzer at Bumar-Łabędy in Gliwice.

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PM and Sebastian Chwałek, President at the PGZ Group, signed a letter of intent on that matter last Thursday, during the MSPO Kielce event. The Prime Minister stated that distribution of manufacturing undertakings in different parts of the country is a must, if Poland wants to retain defence capabilities in the event of a potential invasion, and with some territory being captured.

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“The government is allocating PLN 850 million for the Bumar-Łabędy enterprise, seated in Gliwice”, Morawiecki stated.

The money is to be used to launch a second Krab howitzer manufacturing facility, alongside HSW. "This money would make it possible to equip the new production halls to, soon, as soon as we are capable of fully organizing the process, manufacture around 50 Krabs", the Prime Minister said.

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"This is a weapons system that has been combat-proven in Ukraine. It is today desired by many European countries, and also desired around the globe", Morawiecki added. Poland has transferred 18 Krab howitzers to Ukraine as a support package. Last year, a contract was concluded, concerning a sale of three Krab squadrons to Kiev, with more than 50 gun-howitzers involved.

"Poland is neighbouring an unpredictable regime, and we see what the consequences are, stemming from the geographical location of ours. We have learnt a hard lesson here, in February 2022", the Prime Minister said.

He added that several warning signs had been visible before, including the war in Georgia, the annexation of Ukrainian territory, and a number of other, aggressive hybrid activities, whether on the Polish-Belorussian border or in cyberspace.

"We know it perfectly that Russia plans to reconstruct the fallen evil empire", the Prime Minister said. He added that "any responsible Polish government should place a bet on the modern armament of the Polish military", and that this armament should primarily be procured from the domestic manufacturers.

He expressed gratitude towards Chwałek who, “following the turbulent years brought order and professionalism into the PGZ Group”.

"The repair process pertaining to the public finances made it possible for us to allocate huge funds to [development of] the military that is to become one of the strongest armies in Europe. When was it that we could showcase such achievements? Hundreds of years ago", Morawiecki said.

He compared the 2015 defence spending (PLN 37 bn.) to the next year’s planned amount of PLN 155 bn. He also noted the quantitative growth of the Armed Forces.

Morawiecki stressed the fact that the manufacturing facilities should be scattered in numerous locations around Poland so that they are not destroyed in the event of a potential attack. The fact that Ukraine retained some of its industrial potential played a major role in allowing the Armed Forces of Ukraine to begin a counter-attack.

“We are buying a lot of equipment, coming from all around the world. But apart from the international procurement, that we are pleased with, as these reinforce our capabilities in an accelerated manner, we also want to establish our internal manufacturing powers, production force, and the technological capacity to manufacture armament”, PM said.

According to Morawiecki, the acquisition of the F-35, HIMARS, and Javelin ATGMs, "interoperability at a level that has never been observed before [would be obtained], along with strong ties between us and the American allies of ours".

Prime Minister declared that Poland wanted to count on the allies but "who can defend themselves, at least during the first phase of the war, is defended". He exemplified this by referring to the stance adopted by the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, who was advised to run away, yet he stayed in Kyiv, following the Russian aggression.

“We have been receiving funds, recently, that would be allocated by us to expand the Polish industry”, President at PGZ said, recalling the decisions on providing extra funds for HSW, or the Mesko company, manufacturing munitions. Chwałek said that the Gliwice-based Bumar factory “has a huge heritage, and at a certain point in time it was manufacturing a hundred main battle tanks per year”. “Today we are recovering those capabilities, we will yet again, manufacture heavy equipment”, he announced.

Chwałek additionally said that the PGZ Group remains the first choice supplier of military equipment for the Polish soldiers, and is also involved in deliveries covered by international contracts, for instance by manufacturing the Polish Patriot system launchers. A memorandum signed a day before envisages that the PGZ companies may be on their way towards manufacturing the Javelin ATGM. The Group is also expected to manufacture elements of the HIMARS system, including rockets and launchers.

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