Hanwha Defense Executive Vice President Lee Boo-hwan, right, signs a memorandum of understanding with PGZ Vice President Krzysztof Sola on the sidelines of the MSPO defense and security fair in Kielce, Poland on Sept. 7. Photo courtesy of Hanwha Defense

South Korean defense giant inks MOU with Polish defense group

South Korea’s Hanwha Defense signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Sept. 7 with Poland’s state-backed Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ) to enhance bilateral industrial partnership.

The MOU was signed on the second day of the MSPO defense and security fair, which is scheduled to continue through Sept. 9 in Kielce, Poland.

The agreement is associated with the supply of K9 self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) and other ground equipment as a part of the July framework contract between South Korea and Poland.

Hanwha Defense signed the first phase of the executive contract with Poland on Aug. 26 to supply hundreds of K9 SPHs between 2022 and 2026.

The Hanwha-PGZ MoU specifies the partnership for production, servicing, life-cycle cost, and future development of K9 SPHs, according to Hanwha Defense.

Other fields of potential collaboration include infantry fighting vehicles and multiple launch rocket systems when those solutions will be ordered by the Polish armed forces.

Hanwha Defense noted that the roadmap of this cooperation includes modernization of the K9 to K9PL standard and joint R&D on next-generation field artillery systems.

Hanwha Defense CEO Son Jae-il, right, shakes hands with PGZ CEO Sebastian Chwalek after the two companies agree to cooperate. Photo courtesy of Hanwha Defense

“I’m very proud that the partnership between Hanwha Defense and Poland has grown to enter a new phase of expanded cooperation based on the latest framework agreement and executive contract,” Hanwha Defense CEO Son Jae-il said.

“Poland will be a hub base for Hanwha’s global expansion, especially in Europe. To that end, we are dedicated to working together with the government of Poland with full partnership and trust.”

PGZ CEO Sebastian Chwalek also welcomed the alliance.

“The Polish defense industry has over a decade of fruitful cooperation with Hanwha Defense. The most recognizable effect of this cooperation is the KRAB howitzers, a not-so-distant relative of the K9 SPH,” he said.

“Today’s agreement is the next stage of this cooperation, which will translate into the development of both our economies and an increase in the potential of armed forces of our countries.”