At the International Defense Exhibition, the Polish Armed Forces presented modernized M1A1 Abrams, Leopard 2 2PL tanks and Korean K2 Black Panther MBTs
The annual International Defense Industry Exhibition MSPO, which is considered the largest and most representative in Eastern Europe, is taking place in the Polish city of Kielce from September 5 to 9. At it, the Armed Forces of Poland, whose leadership has repeatedly stated its intention to create the largest modern army on the continent, tried to present the best examples of weapons and military equipment, both foreign and domestic.
Matvey Mitkov, a Polish journalist and security expert at one of the faculties of the University of Washington (UW), left rave reviews in an article published in the online publication Defense24 after visiting the salon. He noted that this year the exhibition of Polish weapons is held under the slogan "new equipment - new challenges - new opportunities."
This year, guests of the exhibition can see the latest equipment and military equipment of the Polish army, including Tanks M1A1 Abrams, K2 Black Panther, Leopard 2 En, 155mm Krab cannons, 155mm k9a1 self-propelled artillery, M142 HIMARS/Homar-A missile systems and KTO Rosomak wheeled armored vehicles.
The American M1A1 Abrams tank attracts the greatest attention from visitors, the author writes. In the presented modification, the vehicle is equipped with a modernized fire control system, which was achieved by replacing the main sight module with a new one with a laser rangefinder and a FLIR 2 thermal imaging camera. Poland has already paid for the supply of 116 tanks along with 12 M88A2 technical support vehicles, six M577A3 command vehicles and 26 HMMWV M1152A1 machines. Deliveries of armored vehicles are planned for 2023-2024.
In May of this year, the Polish Army received another batch of M142 HIMARS MLRS with ammunition, including ATACMS long-range missiles. These systems are also presented at the exhibition. Warsaw acquired the first 20 launchers of these missile systems in 2019, the total contract amount is $414 million.
German tanks are represented by the upgraded Leopard 2 2PL model, these vehicles are equipped with additional modular armor protection for the turret and new sights. The gun and fire control system were adapted to more modern ammunition: anti-tank DM63A1 and programmable high-explosive fragmentation DM11.
- the journalist reports.
Korean MBT K2 Black Panther on the showroom is shown in the modification of the third generation. In total, Warsaw entered into an agreement with the Korean manufacturer of these armored vehicles, Hyundai Rotem, for the supply of 180 units of equipment until 2025, the contract value is $3,34 billion. Previously, Polish authorities announced plans to purchase thousands of tanks from South Korea. It is easy to calculate that Warsaw will need a total of more than $18,5 billion for this.
Two modifications of Rosomak multi-purpose armored vehicles are on display at MSPO from the equipment of its own production: in the version of a wheeled armored personnel carrier (KTO) and a wheeled infantry fighting vehicle (KBVP) with the Hitfist-30p and ZSSW-30 turret system. The vehicles are modernized versions of the Finnish wheeled armored personnel carrier Patria AMV and are produced at JSC Wolverine in the Polish city of Siemianowice-Slask.
There are Polish 155 mm AHS Krab self-propelled howitzers on display, which Warsaw supplies to Ukraine, where they are regularly detected and destroyed by the Russian military. According to Mitkov, in total, Poland transferred 18 such installations from its arsenal to Kyiv. Last year, a contract was signed to supply the Armed Forces with another 56 AHS Krabs, obviously not free of charge.
The journalist ends his tour of the salon with a visit to the stand with Turkish MALE Bayraktar TB2 UAVs. Contract for the supply of 24 of these drones was signed in 2021, so far the Polish Armed Forces have received four Turkish drone, on which operators are trained.
- MSPO website
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