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South Korea seeking to secure previously signed arms deals with Poland.

| Defense News Aerospace 2024

According to a report by Mi-Sun Kang in The Korea Economic Daily, South Korea is currently engaged in discussions with Poland to ensure the fulfillment of arms deals between the two nations, as previously arranged. Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (KAI), the exclusive manufacturer of military aircraft in South Korea, has successfully delivered its initial batch of fighter jets to Poland. This development comes against the backdrop of growing concerns that the change in government leadership in Warsaw might jeopardize a series of substantial arms contracts valued at billions of dollars between the two countries.

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South Korea seeking to secure previously signs arms deals with Poland FA-50GF light fighter jet delivered to the Polish Air Force (Picture source: KAI)

On January 2, Mi-Sun Kang reports, KAI announced that it had completed the delivery of 12 units of the FA-50 light fighter jets to Poland, adhering to a $3 billion contract signed in September 2022, just 15 months after the agreement. In a statement, KAI stated, "Commencing with the delivery of the first and second FA-50GF units to Poland in July 2023, we have successfully fulfilled the entire 12-unit contract for the Polish Air Force." The FA-50GF is a light combat jet with specifications closely matching those required by the South Korean Air Force, Mi-Sun Kang comments.

KAI is slated to supply an additional 36 units of the FA-50PL, a model with customized features requested by the Polish Air Force, including enhanced avionics equipment and weaponry, between 2025 and 2028. Kang Goo-young, CEO of KAI, emphasized, "Through active cooperation between Korea and Poland, we have met the timely delivery of 12 FA-50GFs."

These deliveries occurred amidst concerns raised by the new Polish government, led by new Prime Minister Donald Tusk, about the need to revisit certain arms agreements previously established by the prior administration due to concerns of overspending. A spokesperson from the Polish Foreign Ministry stated that "the scope of some of the contracts may require reassessment to align with current security requirements," as reported by Voice of America last month. South Korea has been engaged in discussions with Poland to ensure that various arms contracts secured by local companies such as KAI, Hyundai Rotem Co., and Hanwha Aerospace Co. will be executed under the agreed terms, notwithstanding the change in leadership, as reported by Yonhap News Agency, quoting a government official in Seoul.

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