Poland receives first batch of 10 K2 PL tanks from South Korea

According to a Tweet published by the Polish Ministry of Defense, Mariusz Błaszczak on December 6, 2022, South Korea delivered the first batch of ten K2 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) to Poland. Yesterday, the Army Recognition editorial team also published news to announce the delivery of the first K9 155mm self-propelled howitzer for the Polish army.
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On December 6, 2022, the first batch of 10 South Korean K2 main battle tanks arrived in Poland that will be delivered to the Polish army. (Picture source Twitter account Mariusz Błaszczak)

For South Korea, this is one of the most important arms sales contracts to a foreign country. Polish army will be now equipped with the latest generation of self-propelled howitzers and main battle tanks that will replace Soviet-era combat vehicles.

In July, a framework agreement was concluded with Hyundai Rotem for the acquisition of a total of 1,000 K2 main tanks and its Polonized K2PL development version along with accompanying vehicles: technical and engineering support vehicles, accompanying bridges, and other elements based on Polish solutions, as well as a training and logistics package, ammunition supply and manufacturer's technical support.

At the end of August, executive contracts related to the acquisition of the first 180 K2 tanks from the Korean side in 2022-2025 and 212 K9 self-propelled howitzers in 2022-26 were concluded. On October 29, the framework agreement for the acquisition of K239 multi-guided CHUNMOO launchers anticipates the delivery of the first 18 launchers, integrated with Polish JELCZ vehicles, along with ammunition, already in 2023.

Moreover, the framework agreement concluded with Hanwha Defense covers the acquisition of a total of 672 K9A1 self-propelled howitzers and its Polonized K9PL development version along with accompanying vehicles, as well as a training and logistics package, ammunition supplies, and technical support from the manufacturer.

Citing information from the Polish Ministry of Defense, South Korea has now delivered 10 K2 tanks and 24 K9 self-propelled howitzers to Poland. Today, this state-of-the-art armament strengthens the Polish Armed Forces to become the most important defense forces in Europe.

The K2PL is a new improved version of the South Korean K2 Black Panther which is in service with the South Korean army. The tank was tailored according to the needs and requirements of the Polish armed forces.

The design of the K2PL includes a new armor package mounted around the turret as well as on the side of the hull. The roof of the turret is fitted with a remotely operated weapon station armed with a 12.7mm machine gun.

The main armament of the K2PL consists of a German-made Rheinmetall 120-mm/ L55 smoothbore gun produced under license in South Korea. The gun is fitted with an automatic loader with 16 rounds ready to fire and 24 rounds are stored inside the hull.

To increase the protection of the K2PL tank against RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenades) threats, the rear side of the hull is fitted with wire cage armor. The tank is also equipped with an APS (Active Protection System) designed to counter antitank guided missiles (ATGM), but not high velocity, high explosive (HE) or kinetic energy (KE) tank-fired munitions.