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MSPO 2023: South Korea Lead Nation at International Defence Industry Exhibition in Poland.

| 2023

Kielce, Poland, September 5, 2023 - South Korea is the lead nation for the 2023 edition of the MSPO International Defence Industry Exhibition, marking the second time the nation has taken on this prestigious role. The decision by the Ministry of National Defence to invite South Korea followed the Program Board's proposal, reflecting the strengthening ties between the two nations in the defense sector.
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At MSPO 2023 Hyundai Rotem from South Korea presents for the first time the new Polish version of its K2 Main Battle Tank under the name of K2PL. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The move was seen as a natural progression, especially after the Polish government's recent decision to purchase a significant amount of military equipment from Korea. Notably, agreements for these acquisitions were inked during the 2022 defense industry trade show in Kielce.

In fact, Poland has planned to acquire 1,000 South Korean K2 MBTs, to equip up to 18 armored battalions. The delivery will occur in two phases: 180 K2 MBTs will be delivered from South Korea in 2023, with the rest being manufactured in Poland under the designation of K2PL. Additionally, agreements have been signed for 672 K9A1 South Korean 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers and 288 K239 Chunmoo South Korean Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRSs). The Polish Air Force has also procured 48 FA-50 South Korean Fighting Eagle light combat jets, sufficient for three squadrons, with two of these aircraft already operational.

The South Korea Lead Nation Exhibition showcases the pinnacle of the country's achievements in the defense realm. Among the highlights are the equipment soon to be incorporated into the Polish army's arsenal, including the Chunmoo missile launchers and the formidable K2 tanks. Visitors to the exhibition can also witness the modern K808 wheeled armored vehicle, the UGV multi-purpose unmanned ground vehicles, and mock-ups of cutting-edge defense unmanned aerial and land vehicles. The display is further enriched with the KLTV Reconnaissance light tactical reconnaissance vehicle and the hydrogen-powered armored ATV vehicle. The FA-50 light combat aircraft and the KF-21 multi-role fighter prototype, both of which will serve in the Polish Armed Forces, are also presented as mock-ups.

In the lead-up to the MSPO commencement, Jong-Sup Lee, the Minister of National Defence of the Republic of South Korea, toured the Kielce exhibition and congress center. Accompanied by a high-level Korean delegation, Minister Lee met with President Andrzej Mochon and the task force of the International Defence Industry Exhibition. His tour also included visits to the expo stands of Hyundai-Rotem and Hanhwa, which were still under construction.

South Korean Minister Jong-Sup Lee expressed his gratitude and optimism for the event, stating, "Congratulations on the success of the MSPO organization. I am delighted that South Korea will be the Lead Nation Exhibitor this year. I am hopeful that the International Defence Industry Exhibition will amplify the potential of the Polish defense industry and bolster Poland's defense capability. I assure you that Korea will spare no effort in ensuring the Exhibition's success." His remarks came at the conclusion of his visit to Targi Kielce.

The MSPO 2023 promises to be a landmark event, further cementing the defense partnership between Poland and South Korea.

Defense News September 2023

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