In 2022, the Polish Army is expected to receive the first of 180 K2 Black Panther tanks, the K2PL version, which the country ordered from South Korea at the end of 2020.

The next stage, Warsaw wants to receive a total of 800 K2 tanks. Part of it will be produced domestically in Poland according to the K2PL standard configuration, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said.

According to Blaszczak, in addition to nearly 1,000 K2 Black Panther tanks jointly produced by Korea and Poland, Warsaw also plans to receive self-propelled bridges, repair and rescue vehicles to serve these tanks. The estimated cost of this extremely large procurement, as well as an approximate delivery date, is not disclosed, because it is sensitive information.

Currently, Poland plans to add 250 M1A2 SEPv2 Abrams tanks that have just been ordered and 116 second hand M1 Abrams tanks. It is expected that Warsar will receive all of them within the next few years, a total of 366 tanks from the US.

Based on the Military Balance 2021 report, we should note that Poland has about 200 T-72M1 in service, all of which have been handed over to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Regarding the PT-91 Twardys, the Polish Army has a total of 232 units by the end of 2021, which are also being delivered to Ukraine. Thus Warsaw is changing the blood of its entire armored force.

It should be recalled that at the end of 2020, the Korean company Hyundai Rotem cooperated with the Polish Government to plan the production of more than 800 K2PL main battle tanks, to replace the T-72 and PT-91. This MBT is advertised as being able to defeat even the Russian T-14 Armata.

According to Polish military expert Damian Ratka from Defense 24 magazine, the new version of the K2 tank has an enlarged turret, improved front and side armor, and a significantly lengthened hull. Ratka added that the K2PL’s driving position is centered rather than sideways like the original K2 Black Panther, providing better visibility and easy access for the driver. For better protection against missile threats, the rear of the tank is fitted with cage armor. The active defense system is also applied against anti-tank guided missiles.

Although the Polish side keeps the value secret, Hyundai Rotem has revealed that it is targeting a contract to modernize the Polish Army’s tank force worth $8.85 billion, with a total of 800 units. Hyundai Rotem leadership has met with Polish officials several times to explain in detail the qualifications and functions of the K2 Black Panther. In 2008, the Korean company won a bid to sell K2 tanks to Turkey, beating Germany – one of the world’s leading tank manufacturers.

Earlier reports said that the Polish Government has partnered with Hyundai Rotem to produce the next generation tank, which is scheduled to start in 2023. Warsaw also signed an agreement with Hanwha Defense in 2016 to build 120 K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers.

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