Hanwha Defense will provide K9 Thunder Self-Propelled Howitzers (SPHs) to Poland under the first phase of a $2.4 billion framework agreement signed with the aim of strengthening the defense capabilities of the Polish Armed Forces.
Under the contract, Hanwha Defense will supply a package of K9 SPHs and 155mm artillery ammunition, along with training and logistics support, between 2022 and 2026, with a follow-up execution contract expected to be signed as early as by the end of this year.
The contract is the largest in the history of K9 SPH’s global exports, as nine countries – South Korea, Turkey, Poland, India, Finland, Norway, Estonia, Australia and Egypt – have ordered the K9 since 2001.
A signing ceremony was held at a military base in the northern Polish town of Morag.
“[The] signing of the Execution Contract with Poland is a significant milestone in advancing the long-standing partnership between Hanwha Defense and Poland,” said Son Jaeil, CEO and President of Hanwha Defense. “Hanwha Defense will be the most reliable partner for Poland and is fully committed to contributing to Poland’s military modernization and the growth of the local defense industry.”
The bilateral partnership has grown with the successful AHS Krab SPH development project under which Hanwha Defense supplied the K9 chassis to help the local industry manufacture the Krab self-propelled gun for the Polish military.
Hanwha Defense will open a Polish business office by the end of 2022 in an effort to expand its footprint in the European market, as well as solidify the partnership further with Warsaw.
“Poland will be a hub base for Hanwha’s global expansion, especially in Europe,” said Lee Boo-hwan, Executive Vice President of Hanwha Defense’s Overseas Business Division. “Our goal is to establish stronger partnerships with NATO members and local businesses in Europe based on trust and cooperation.”
Hanwha Defense has already signed contracts with four NATO member countries to supply the K9 artillery systems and is set to bid for the UK Mobile Fires Platform program.