WARSAW, Poland — Poland has completed its negotiations with South Korea to buy close to 300 K239 Chunmoo multiple-rocket launchers, with a contract expected to be signed during next week’s visit by Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak to Seoul.
“It’s an excellent artillery weapon, and based on our observations from the war in Ukraine we can clearly see how much advantage can artillery create on the battlefield,” Błaszczak told local news site I.PL.
Last May, the minister announced he signed a letter of request to purchase about 500 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, from the United States. However, the latest development indicates Warsaw understands it will not be able to buy as many U.S. systems as it originally planned.
“We’re aware that we will not receive all 500 HIMARS launchers, for which we have sent a letter of request, within a timeline that would be satisfactory to us,” Błaszczak said. “We decided to split the HIMARS order into stages. We will have both the HIMARS and the Chunmoo.”
The minister said that, under the plan, the first South Korean launchers, which are made by Hanwha Group, are to be delivered to Poland in 2023.
“In addition to these launchers, we will also acquire a very large number of missiles, both precision strike missiles for a distance of up to 70 km, and tactical missiles with a range of about 300 km,” according to Błaszczak.
The value of the planned contract, which will further expand Poland’s reliance on South Korean weapons, was not disclosed. A series of deals signed in the last months for the purchase of tanks, howitzers, and aircraft made the country Seoul’s largest defense client in Europe.
Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.