Poland’s decision to buy up to 20 trillion won worth of arms from South Korea last year, including K2 Black Tiger tanks, K-9 self-propelled howitzers, and FA-50 light attack aircraft, has so far brought in about 600 billion won in ‘tank payments’ alone.
With South Korea running a trade deficit for the 15th month in a row due to sluggish exports of semiconductors, its flagship product, the Polish ‘defense jackpot’ is beginning to show up as a tangible export boost, acting as a rainy day in a drought.
According to trade statistics from the Korea International Trade Association on Wednesday, South Korea’s exports of tanks and other armored vehicles to Poland from January to April this year were valued at $255 million.
Last year’s exports to Poland in this category were valued at $210 million, but this year’s exports from January through April alone have already surpassed the entire amount of last year.
Cumulatively, exports from last year to April this year amounted to $456 million, or about $600 billion in Korean won.
The industry estimates that these figures include the initial deliveries of K2 black tanks and K-9 self-propelled howitzers to Poland, as well as additional deliveries that are not publicly known.
In response to Poland’s request for expedited delivery, it was disclosed that the first 10 K2 electronic tanks and 24 K-9 self-propelled howitzers were delivered to the country in December last year, four months after the contract was signed.
In a recent report, Yujin Investment & Securities estimated that a total of 48 K-9 self-propelled howitzers had been delivered to Poland through the first quarter, including the initial batch.
In July last year, the Polish government announced that it had signed a framework agreement to buy 980 K2 tanks, 648 K-9 self-propelled howitzers, 48 FA-50 light attack aircraft, and 288 Cheonmoo multiple-launch rockets from South Korea.
At the time, industry estimates put the value of the deal announced by Poland at $14.8 billion (about 19.5 trillion won). It was also estimated that the total value of exports of related products over the next 10 years could eventually reach 30 trillion won.
Then, in August last year, Hyundai Rotem and Hanwha Aerospace (formerly Hanwha Defense) actually signed the first implementation contract with the Polish Armaments Agency for the export of K2 black-tipped tanks and K-9 self-propelled howitzers worth a total of $5.76 billion (approximately KRW 7.5 trillion).
Amid the increase in exports of the ‘tank’ category, the total value of Korea’s exports to Poland in the first four months of this year was $3.09 billion, up 34.5 percent from the same period last year.
In January-April, South Korea had a $2.71 billion surplus in trade with Poland. Poland has become one of Korea’s five largest trade partners this year, after the United States ($10.85 billion), Vietnam ($7.6 billion), Hong Kong ($5.34 billion), and India ($3.67 billion)스포츠토토.
As the supply of weapons such as K2 tanks and K-9 self-propelled howitzers begins in earnest, the defense sector sales of related companies such as Hyundai Dynamics and Hanwha Aerospace are expected to expand, and the scale of South Korea’s exports to Poland is expected to grow even more.
In a report on the 8th, NH Investment & Securities said that after the delivery of the first contract for 180 K-2 tanks, including 10 last year, 18 this year, 56 in 2024, and 96 in 2025, went smoothly, the second contract for 820 tanks is expected to be signed in the second half of this year.
In addition to the first 24 deliveries late last year, 24 K-9s will be exported to Poland in 2023, 82 in 2024, and 82 in 2025. A second contract is expected later this year.
Following the ground weapons, deliveries of the FA-50 light attack aircraft produced by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to Poland will also begin.
Poland’s deputy prime minister and defense minister delivering congratulatory remarks
(SEOUL, June 7) Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Mariusz Wawaszczak delivers a congratulatory speech at the ‘Delivery Ceremony of FA-50GF No. 1 for Poland’ at KAI headquarters in Sacheon, Gyeongnam, on June 7. 2023.6.7 [Provided by KAI. Resale and DB prohibited] firstname.lastname@example.org
KAI held a ceremony on June 7 at its headquarters in Sacheon to deliver the first FA-50GF, a light attack aircraft exported to Poland, in the presence of Minister of Defense Lee Jong-seop and Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Mariusz Błaszczak.
The FA-50GF will undergo flight tests through July, and a total of 12 units will be delivered from August through the end of this year. The remaining 36 of the 48 aircraft under contract with Poland will be delivered between the second half of 2025 and 2028 in the form of the FA-50PL (Poland), a performance-enhanced version of the FA-50 that reflects the needs of the Polish Air Force.