Poland to Acquire 672 K9A1 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzers from South Korea's Hanwha Defense

Kielce, Poland, September 9, 2023 - In a move that underscores its commitment to bolstering national defense, Poland has announced a landmark deal with South Korea's Hanwha Defense for the acquisition of 672 K9A1 155mm self-propelled howitzers. This acquisition is set to significantly enhance the artillery capabilities of the Polish Armed Forces, reflecting the nation's strategic intent in the face of evolving geopolitical challenges.
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Polish Army displays the K9 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzer at MSPO 2023, a defense exhibition in Kielce, Poland. (Picture source Army Recognition)

On August 26, 2022, South Korean company Hanwha Defense and Polish defense officials formalized their partnership, signing an execution contract to supply the K9 Thunder 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzers (SPHs) to Poland. With a valuation of approximately $2.4 billion, this contract is the first phase of a broader framework agreement, which was established in late July. The primary objective of this collaboration is to fortify the defense capabilities of the Polish Armed Forces, ensuring they remain at the forefront of modern warfare capabilities.

The K9 Thunder, a product of meticulous South Korean engineering, is renowned globally for its advanced technical features and combat capabilities. With a 155mm caliber, the howitzer boasts a firing range of up to 30 km for standard ammunition. This range can be extended to 40 km with the use of rocket-assisted projectiles. A notable combat feature is its rapid burst mode, allowing the artillery piece to fire three rounds in quick succession, offering a distinct advantage in intense combat scenarios.

This monumental deal has placed the K9 SPH in the spotlight, marking it as the largest contract in terms of global exports for this artillery system. Since its debut in 2001, the K9 has received international recognition, with orders now spanning nine countries, including South Korea, Turkey, India, Finland, Norway, Estonia, Australia, Egypt, and Poland being the latest additions.

Hanwha Defense's K9A1 howitzer stands as a testament to the company's dedication to innovation, mobility, and precision in defense solutions. As Poland and South Korea continue to strengthen their military cooperation, this acquisition symbolizes Poland's unwavering commitment to modernizing its defense infrastructure. With geopolitical tensions on the rise, such strategic partnerships are pivotal in ensuring nations are well-equipped to navigate the complex landscape of global security.

Defense News September 2023