Polish-Korean Consortium for Main Battle Tanks has Emerged

Photo. A. Nitka, Defence24

Mariusz Błaszczak, Head of the Polish Ministry of Defence announced that an agreement was signed regarding a consortium that is tasked to handle the manufacturing of the K2PL main battle tanks in Poland. _ "In my, and Minister Lee's presence, agreement was signed on establishment of a Polish-Korean consortium, formed by the PGZ Group, and Hyundai Rotem. Co-production, joint manufacturing efforts regarding the K2 main battle tanks would be launched in Poland. A transfer of technology has been guaranteed. This would involve manufacturing for the Polish Army, but also other European customers interested in procurement of this main battle tank", Mariusz Błaszczak said on Polsat News.

Błaszczak reminded the audience that the K2 MBT is lighter than Abrams, closing the Brest gap near the Belarusian border. And thus, both main battle tanks here go together well, as the head of the Polish Ministry of Defence said. Let us recall the fact that the Abrams MBTs, meeting the urgent operational requirements, are to be received by the 18th Mechanized Division first. The K2 MBTs would be operated by the 16th Mechanized Division deployed in north-eastern Poland.

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According to the PGZ news release, the manufacturing of K2PL Main Battle Tanks is to take place in Wojskowe Zakłady Motoryzacyjne (WZM) in Poznań, a PGZ company. Also, the Term Sheet signed on 23 February also specifies the industrial capabilities that are to be to transfered to WZM as well as other PGZ companies. This includes the final assembly of tanks, establishing the industrial potential for construction of hulls and turrets, as well as for manufacturing the hydropneumatic suspension cannon assembly and automatic loader and other selected components of the tank. The document also defines technical and infrastructural conditions necessary for the production and provision of maintenance, repair and maintenance services in Poland throughout the life cycle of the tank. It also agrees on the terms of the license necessary for the production of tanks for the Polish Armed Forces and the terms of export cooperation.

The framework agreement signed in July last year, regarding 1,000 K2 and K2PL main battle tanks assumes that first, a delivery of 180 K2 main battle tanks manufactured in South Korea would happen, and that would be followed by 820 K2PL MBTs, manufactured within the framework of industrial cooperation.

The execution contract regarding 180 K2 main battle tanks has been signed in August. The vehicles would be handed off to Poland with a logistics and training package, and munitions, by 2025, at a price of USD 3.43 bn. The first 10 MBTs have already been received by the 20th Mechanized Brigade, that is a part of the 16th "Pomorska" Mechanized Division - the first unit to receive them.