ADEX 2017: Krab Howitzer Chassis - Transfer of Technology Begins

20 października 2017, 13:39
Image Credit: PGZ.
Image Credit: PGZ
Image Credit: PGZ

During the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition, also known under the name of ADEX 2017, a memorandum of understanding has been signed, defining the moment when the transfer of technology would begin with regards to the K9 howitzer platform chassis, for the Krab systems manufactured by the HSW S.A. company, belonging to the Polish Armaments Group. As a result, the company is to gain an independent ability to manufacture chassis elements within the scope of the Regina programme, based on the Krab SPH. The chassis in question may also be used as a base platform for other projects.

The document confirming the commitment expressed by both parties, with regards to the provisions of agreement signed by and between HSW and Hanwha Land Techwin, was signed by the President of the HSW company, Bernard Cichocki; Member of the Board and Director for Development at HSW, Bartłommiej Zając; while on behalf of the Koreans, the agreement was signed by the President of the Hanwha Land Systems, company, Son Jae-Il. The HLS entity is a part of the Hanwha group. The event of signing is tantamount to initiation of a transfer of the K9 chassis technology to Poland.

Bartosz Kownacki, Secretary of State at the Polish Ministry of Defence, who was present during the conclusion of the agreement, emphasized the recovery of Polish industrial abilities in the domain of tracked platforms. He noted that the event is very important for the whole Polish Armaments Group.

We are regaining the know-how that has been lost by our industry during the recent years. The transfer of technologies required to manufacture modern tracked platforms is a milestone, when it comes to recovery of the potential to create modern land systems that would remain at hand of the Polish defence industry. The cooperation established with the Korean defence industry is yet another step that enhances our autonomy in the areas that bear the key relevance for the Polish national security.

Secretary of State at the Polish Ministry of Defence, Bartosz Kownacki.

PGZ Company’s President stressed the fact that successful finalization of the effort related to the transfer of technology would make it possible to gradually improve the quality of the Group’s offer.

Acquisition of the license and the related transfer of technology are fairly complicated, both - technology- as well as business-wise. Successful finalization of these efforts would make it possible to gradually increase the quality of the PGZ’s offer, and it would also significantly influence our ability to develop our latest tracked-vehicles technologies available on the market, on our own.

Błażej Wojnicz, President of the Board at the PGZ S.A. Company.

On the other hand, President of the HSW S.A. company. Bernard Cichocki, noted that transfer of the South Korean technologies would be beneficial for work on platforms based on heavy tracked chassis, such as IFVs, SAM systems or ARVs.

Not only are we going to, thanks to know-how obtained, within the framework of joint work undertaken with Hanwha Land Systems, be able to effectively execute orders for the Polish Armed Forces, as the new expertise will also allow us to develop designs of new continuous track land platforms, i.e. IFVs, self-propelled anti-aircraft systems, close-support vehicles or ARVs. The fact that we would be pursuing this and derived programmes will make it possible to further expand the HSW facility and to maintain the jobs, or even to create new positions at our company.

President of the Management Board at the HSW company, Bernard Cichocki.

The agreement by and between the HSW S.A. company and Samsung Techwin (Hanwha Land Techwin now) was signed in 2014, in order to initiate the Regina programme. A number of defects was detected in case of the Krab platform chassis that had been developed earlier, thus a decision was made to obtain the relevant technologies from Korea. 

Read more: “Artillery Deal of the Century” - Concluded. “Regina” Procurement - PLN 4.6 Billion.

24 vehicles have already been delivered to Poland, they constitute a base for howitzers that have already been introduced into service, as the equipment of the first Regina squadron fire module, recently introduced into the inventory of the Polish Army. In December 2016 a contract was signed, concerning the delivery of another four squadron-level modules, including 96 howitzers with additional equipment.

At the moment, the first 12 examples of the platforms for the second lot of the SPHs is waiting for shipping to Poland. There they would be assembled at HSW S.A., with the remaining 84 howitzers expected to be assembled, in their entirety, domestically, thanks to the transfer of technology.

Read more: AS 2017: Krab SPH Showcased in Ukraine

Acting Polish MoD’s Undersecretary of State at the time, Maciej Janowski, stated, in March 2015, that the contract provides Poland with “unlimited possibilities within the scope of the future use” of the vehicles in the manufactured weapons systems. He also confirmed that the memorandum of understanding would allow HSW to manufacture and export the platforms to the third parties.

Read more: Regina Officially Included in the Inventory of the Polish Armed Forces

The Krab system, on a new chassis, was being offered in the Danish SPH procurement programme, nonetheless Copenhagen ultimately decided to acquire the wheeled Caesar system. Nonetheless, PGZ has been recently presenting the Krab howitzer during the Arms & Security 2017 exhibition in Kiev.
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