“We are buying South Korean weapons,” Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak announced via Twitter on 22 July. In the tweed, Błaszczak explained that contract negotiations for the procurement of at least 180 K2 BLACK PANTHER MBTs and 48 FA-50 fighter aircraft have been completed to the extent that contracts are expected to be signed in the next few days.
Poland is thus continuing its efforts to modernise and strengthen its armed forces, which have received a further boost from the Russian attack on Ukraine.
The 55-tonne K2 BLACK PANTHER is a development of the South Korean tank manufacturer Hyundai Rotem. A 1,100 kW diesel engine and hydropneumatic suspension are the core of its mobility, a 120 mm smoothbore gun with automatic loading system is the main weapon, composite and reactive armour as well as active protection are components of the protection package. The vehicle has a crew of three.
With the K2 BLACK PANTHER, the Polish Army will receive the third type of MBT after the T-72 and LEOPARD 2, which differ considerably in handling and logistics. In addition, there are M1 ABRAMS MBTs, which are to be delivered promptly in a ring swap as a replacement for T-72s handed over to Ukraine, and M1A2 SEPv3 ABRAMS, which have been ordered for delivery from 2025.