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More K9A1 Thunder and WWR Homar-K in Poland

The fifth batch of 155mm K9A1 Thunder self-propelled howitzers and the fourth batch of Homar-K (K239 Chunmoo) multiple launch rocket system modules have arrived in Poland.

On Tuesday, June 11, 2024, Paweł Bejda, Secretary of State in the Ministry of National Defense responsible for overseeing the technical modernization of the Polish Armed Forces, announced on social media that a maritime shipment from the Republic of Korea had arrived in Poland. The shipment included six 155mm K9A1 Thunder self-propelled howitzers and twelve Homar-K (K239 Chunmoo) multiple launch rocket system modules.

K9A1 Thunder of the Polish Armed Forces / Photo: Grzegorz Sobczak, MILMAG

Besides the six K9 howitzers, another valuable cargo arrived in Poland: 12 Homar-K launcher modules. Now, in Polish defense plants, they will be integrated with Jelcz chassis and the Topaz command system, wrote Paweł Bejda on platform X.

The population of Homar-K MLRS and K9 howitzers is growing. The first deliveries in 2024 are behind us. More are ahead, commented the Armament Agency on its profile.

The above information means that, to date, the South Korean company Hanwha Aerospace has delivered a total of 72 K9A1 howitzers to Poland (18 units on December 17, last year; 12 units on March 22, last year; 12 units on February 23, last year; and 24 units on December 12, 2022).

These deliveries are being carried out under an executive agreement dated August 26, 2022, valued at USD 2.4 billion net (PLN 11.38 billion net / PLN 13.99 billion), concluded between the Armament Agency and Hanwha Defense (now Hanwha Aerospace). According to the agreement, 212 K9A1 Thunder howitzers will be delivered to the Polish Armed Forces between 2022 and 2026.

The logistics package includes a stock of spare parts and consumables, as well as equipment for servicing the howitzers. The contractor also provides service support in Poland from the moment the first howitzers were delivered. The training package includes simulation equipment and personnel training in Poland.

On December 1 of last year, the Armament Agency signed a second contract worth USD 2.6 billion net (PLN 10.33 billion net / PLN 12.81 billion gross) for the delivery of an additional 6 K9A1 howitzers in 2025 and 146 K9PL howitzers in 2026-2027. The executive agreements are the result of a framework agreement from July 27, 2022, for a total of 672 K9A1 and K9PL howitzers (Hanwha Aerospace provides details of the offer for cooperation in the production of the K9PL howitzers).

The implementation of the second executive agreement is possible thanks to the passage of a bill by the Korean National Assembly on February 29 of this year, which amended the capital limit of the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) that provides loans to Poland, and the April negotiations of the Polish government delegation during their visit to Korea.

The Homar-K (K239 Chunmoo) multiple launch rocket system on the Jelcz P882.57 TS T45 K-MLRS 8×8 chassis / Photo: Jakub Link-Lenczowski, MILMAG

As of December 30, 2023, the 18th Mechanized Division had 15 Homar-K multiple launch rocket systems out of 17 delivered to the country: one complete launcher was delivered to Poland on April 21 of last year, eleven modules on September 15, one launcher and four modules on November 2. The first complete launcher was handed over to the military in mid-November, and fourteen by the end of the year.

The delivery of 12 modules means that after their integration with the Jelcz P882.57 TS T45 K-MLRS 8×8 chassis at Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW), as well as with the Topaz battle management system, the Fonet digital vehicle communication platform, and the Radmor radio communication system from WB Group, the number of launchers delivered by the Korean side will increase to 29 units.

On October 19, 2022, the Armament Agency signed a framework agreement with Hanwha Aerospace to acquire 288 K239 Chunmoo launchers, and on November 4, 2022, an executive agreement was signed for 218 launcher modules, along with logistical and training packages, a stockpile of ammunition including several thousand precision-guided missiles with ranges of 80 km (Chunmoo 239 mm Missile) and 290 km (cal. 600 mm Long Range Missile), and technical support from the manufacturer, for USD 3.55 billion net.

During the aforementioned visit of the Polish delegation to Korea on April 25 of this year, a second executive agreement was signed, valued at approximately USD 1.6 billion net (PLN 6.45 billion net / PLN 7.93 billion gross), for the delivery of 72 launcher modules along with logistical and training packages and the integration of Homar-K launchers. The agreement also includes the delivery of several thousand precision-guided missiles with ranges of 80 km and 290 km (CTM-290), as well as technical support from the manufacturer. The delivery schedules are set for 2026-2029. Thus, the total number of launchers will increase to 290 (with two additional ones likely going to the Artillery and Armament Training Center in Toruń).

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