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08 Sep 2022

Poland buys more howitzers as local defense exhibit kicks off

KIELCE, Poland — Poland’s Ministry of National Defence has awarded a contract worth more than 3.8 billion zloty ($800 million) to buy 48 Krab 155mm self-propelled howitzers and related gear from local company Huta Stalowa Wola, a subsidiary of the country’s defense giant PGZ.

The deal was signed on Sept. 5, one day before the annual MSPO defense industry show opened here. The four-day event is to host more than 600 exhibitors from about 40 countries.

“The contract will be implemented in the years 2025 to 2027,” PGZ said in a statement.

Recently awarded orders to U.S. and South Korean defense companies are to enable the Polish military to swiftly acquire new weapons as the country is arming itself against an increasingly belligerent Russia. The latest contract with Huta Stalowa Wola could be interpreted as a sign that, despite its recent string of purchases from foreign suppliers, Warsaw also intends to award major orders to local manufacturers.

Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said on Sept. 6 in Kielce that “we will order those products of the Polish defense industry that will be available” and that the country’s 2023 defense budget will total “close to 100 billion zloty, or more than 20 billion dollars.”

Last month, the Polish ministry signed a deal under which South Korea’s Hanwha Defense is to supply 212 K9A1 howitzers to Poland between 2022 and 2026.

Meanwhile, Poland is also pursuing parallel negotiations with the United States and South Korea regarding potential deliveries of about 500 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, and an undisclosed number of K239 Chunmoo multiple rocket launchers, respectively.

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