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There is another order for Korean gun howitzers. Why not Crabs?

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Mariusz Błaszczak is shopping again, this time worth over PLN 12 billion. The Polish army will have more Korean gun howitzers. Why hasn’t a new order been placed for Polish Crabs? The Armament Agency explains that those already submitted are still being implemented. Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa emphasizes that its production capacity is increasing, but reaching the production level of up to 160 Krabs per year may take three years.

Korean K9 gun howitzers. Minister Błaszczak approved a contract for the purchase of 152 such guns. – It is extremely important that all the contracts we have concluded are continued. To equip the Polish Army with modern weapons, because this is the best deterrence method, he said.

They are expected to cost over twelve billion zlotys. – After losing the elections, the PiS government should no longer make any commitments or take out loans. These are the obligations of the new government – commented Czesław Mroczek, PO MP, vice-chairman of the Parliamentary National Defense Committee.

K9 gun howitzers from South Korea were delivered to soldiersThe first tranche of Korean-made howitzers has been deployed. The K9 vehicles were delivered to the artillerymen from Węgorzewo. The unit will also gain a higher rank. As announced by the Minister of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak, the 1st Masurian Artillery Brigade will be established on its basis. TVN24

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It’s supposedly about production capacity

This is the second order for foreign equipment, the equivalent of which is produced in Poland. Crabs from Stalowa Wola prove their value in Ukraine.

– Each additional K9 or other type of gun purchased means that there will be less demand for Krabs, where, let me remind you, less Krabs were ordered in total than K9s – said Bartłomiej Kucharski from the “Zbiam” military publishing house.

When the Ministry of Defense ordered the first tranche of 212 howitzers from Korea over a year ago, it was explained that the Polish industry would not be able to cope with the demand that suddenly increased after the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

– The steelworks’ capacity is actually filled until 2027. Hence the order for K9 howitzers, said in December 2022, Lt. Col. Krzysztof Płatek, then spokesman for the Armament Agency.

In June this year, the Law and Justice government subsidized the Polish producer of Krabs with PLN 600 million, but the financial support was not followed by any orders.

– The Ministry of National Defense wants to quickly purchase an additional number of howitzers, regardless of whether Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa can deliver the required number – commented Piotr Zbies, armament expert, “Nowa Technika Wojskowa”.

Polish Krabs exercise in urban areas.  Material from March 29

Polish Krabs exercise in urban areas. Material from March 29TVN24

We produce more and more Crabs

The possibilities of Polish industry are growing. Before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, 24 howitzers left Huta Stalowa Wola a year, because these were orders from the Polish army. The company has already increased its production capacity to 40 guns per year. In three years, after using state aid and opening the second production line in Łabędy, the annual production of Krabs will reach 160 pieces. That’s more than the Koreans produce.

– This is by no means the end of Krabs. We buy crabs and we will continue to buy them. We have a contract from 2016, 2022. There are still deliveries there, said the spokesman for the Armament Agency, Lt. Col. Grzegorz Polak.

Despite such assurances, there are still no new orders for Kraby. However, there is a potential problem with extended-range ammunition.

– The Ministry of Defense was in such a hurry that it did not do the most trivial thing, which was a two-way comparison. Namely, will Korean ammunition work in our Krabs, and vice versa, will the ammunition we currently use work in K9 – said Capt. director Maciej Lisowski, military expert.

No testing has been done before purchase in Korea. They cannot be done in the country because there is no sufficiently large training ground.

After this material was broadcast, Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa provided the following information:

PGZ informationInformation posted on X (formerly Twitter) after the start of the broadcast of TVN’s “Fakty”.X

Main photo source: Fakty TVN

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